Strange, but I was actually sad last week when I couldn’t make it to spin class. I think it’s finally happened: I’m starting to enjoy torturing myself! If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out part 1 – I started taking spin classes…
I first made this week’s observation a few weeks ago, but couldn’t put it into words. (Maybe it’s because I was oxygen deprived from all of the pedaling.) Here’s what happened. I realized that in a spin class, the instructor is at the front of the room and pedals a bike that is up on a sort of mini stage. The rest of us are all facing the front of the room. In my professional development work with EdTechTeacher, I would say that this is a very teacher-centric room layout similar to an old-school lecture. However, there is one major difference: the instructor is pedaling!
Let ‘Em See You Sweat
For an hour during spin class, not only does the instructor give directions, shout encouragement, change the music, and make sure that no one dies of exhaustion, but she also models everything. Just when you think that your legs might mutiny and refuse to pedal, you realize that the instructor is doing the exact same thing AND still talking. It is a total group suffer-fest, and she SMILES the entire time. Whether we want to admit it or not, our classes could be equivalent suffer-fests for our students, but do we SMILE? Do we SHOW that we are also going through a struggle to learn something new?
This got me thinking, as teachers, when do we show our students how we are also striving to learn something new, how we take feedback, how we motivate ourselves to improve? Sure, in a spin class the focus is on the instructor, but that person doesn’t ask us to do anything that she isn’t already doing – and more.
In other words… when was the last time you let your students see you sweat?