Stories And Inspiration
Students Inspire a Teacher to Go FarSubmitted by Karen Grossman on Apr 23rd 2018 - 12:00AM. | Perma Link
There’s no school rule that teachers are the only ones who inspire. ESL teacher Helen Rushby found out just how motivating her students could be. They encouraged her to run with them in their afterschool GO FAR club.
An ESL teacher at Morehead and Northwood elementary schools, Rushby enjoyed seeing her students participating in GO FAR. Her Northwood students asked her why she wasn’t running with them.
Now a few years and 5Ks later, Rushby says running has been life changing, and she has her students to thank.
“I think for them to convince a teacher to do something that they were enjoying, that was really powerful,” she says. “They could see that even if they are children, they can influence adults and get them to adopt a healthy habit like running.”
Rushby had never run before and at first couldn’t practice with the students, but she used GO FAR’s program to train on her own and run the spring 5K with her students. She’s been involved with GO FAR ever since.
“It was amazing because I didn’t like running, but once you follow that program, it’s easy and you start enjoying it,” she says. “Finally you can run 15 minutes straight, and then you can run 30 minutes straight.”
Rushby says her students benefit from the program. “For them GO FAR is not just something they do because they don’t have anything else to do,” she says. “It’s something they want to do because they understand how important it is for their health, for their minds. They were telling me how they would be better students because exercise would help them.”
Northwood follows the GO FAR curriculum very closely, providing the weekly lessons on nutrition, running tips, and healthy habits. Rushby says the students learn a lot about exercise and healthy living.
But students also get support from friends and teachers outside the classroom. “They find in a club like this good companionship, friendship, fellowship,” she says. “They really enjoy that. When they get that medal, it’s such a huge accomplishment. I think that sometimes children need to have that, to taste what success feels like.”
Rushby has gained from the program too, taking advantage of area trails and participating in local races. It’s helped her feel more like a part of the community.
It’s also helped her bond with her students. “The relationship with them is different,” she says. “When you share something with them outside of the classroom, you get a stronger relationship with the student.”