In this article by Discovery Room teacher Diane McDougall, you’ll read about Lower School teachers who are getting together after school to work out and get in shape.
While the solar panels atop the Lower School gym are making news, the Lower School teachers are inside the gym making . . . muscles.
Have you ever wondered why all those teachers wearing shorts and sneakers head swiftly for the gym right after school? Well, if you happen to be around after dismissal, you will see teachers from every grade and department flock to Coach Gold’s Faculty Fitness Club for a dynamic physical workout. After getting kids in good physical shape all day, Coach Gold volunteers his time to lead teachers through a tough exercise program that will get them in shape, build stamina, and strengthen their muscles.
“We start by walking, jogging, and skipping around the gym to warm up. Then we backpedal and gallop side to side. It’s very challenging, but a great way to end your day,” says PK teacher Kathleen Geier.
Spanish teacher Jorge Baez-Mora is “always eager to get to Coach Gold’s workout class. I am lifting weights again and getting stronger,” he says.
Coach Jeff Gold started this class as part of the Teachers Teaching Teachers project initiated by Lana Shea at Lower school. Several teachers had been asking him for help with getting in shape so he decided to offer the class.
“I’m really grateful to Jeff for taking the time and sharing his expertise with us,” says Zarya Navarro, who teaches the KX class. “Working out will never be fun for me, but his class is the closest it gets,” she adds.
“Coach Gold has us run precision drills going forward, backward and sideways. It’s very strenuous, but I love it,” says Denise Coffin, who also teaches in KX and attends the Fitness Club regularly.
“What I love is the community-building aspect of the workout,” says Discovery Room teacher Diane McDougall. “It’s a real treat to skip around and chat with faculty friends from other parts of the campus.”
One of the favorite (well not really) parts for teachers is the abdominal tightening sequence. While laying flat on mats, teachers have to do a variety of exercises that involve raising and lowering their head and legs at the same time to strengthen all their abdominal muscles. Coach Gold reported some tough moments (and groaning) in the beginning, but he adds “everyone is in much better shape now and can perform the exercises well.”
“We also do push-ups,” says Monica Sorensen, one of the kindergarten teachers. “It’s a great way to build my overall body strength. I am feeling stronger and more energized. My soccer game has even improved since I’ve been working out with Coach Gold’s Faculty Fitness Club.”
Lindsay McAuliffe, 4Y teacher, also looks forward to the workout after school. “I love running the circuit with a friend and catching up on the day,” she says.
The workout class is especially important to teachers who are busy moms with many demands on their time. “It’s a great half-hour of personal time, which I rarely get,” says Noemi Rodriguez, 3Y teacher.
The class is offered from mid- September to mid-November. But thankful teachers are already wondering: what will happen to us after Thanksgiving when we have eaten too much?