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Jan Borelli

This is one delicious post! I can hardly wait to watch your game unfold.

Amy Hendrickson

Thank you so much for this post.

Your questions, "Are you taking care of yourself? Are you giving enough to your friends and family? Do you take care of your health?" really resonate with me.

I am a high school science teacher; I teach 6 classes each day. I am also the start-up director of a small charter school readying to open this fall in Northern Minnesota (if you've seen the 2005 movie "North Country" - you've seen my hometown).

My evenings are filled with meetings and my nights and weekends are filled with "charter school" paperwork and emails that I can not do during the day from my present school. I have a wonderful husband and great kids - and I know that this year has been very tough on them, too.

I don't know exactly how to change things in my world - but I'm glad you reminded me of how important it is to try.

Thanks,
Amy Hendrickson


Joe Bruening

This post could not have come at a better time. I spent a whole Saturday (yesterday) with our Dept. leaders, Principals, and Superintendent to figure out ways to spend the increase in state funds we are due this year. This money is tied to a “Contract for Excellence.” I was pushing for everyday PE. When investigating how to improve our schools for this Saturday meeting I came across a plethora of information on the impact of wellness on student’s academic performance. They are very strongly linked together. And I knew this; I’ve known this for years. But I’ve grown complacent (outside my classroom) about advocating for this. Classes that are “extra’s” are not taking seriously. We have a Wellness Policy in place but it is a paper tiger. I tried to make my case. I tried to tell a room full of educational leaders (many of whom neglect their own health) that to give more physical activity to kids at all levels, even if you have to take away academic time, will improve their grades as well as their health. Most of the teachers wanted more time to teach their subject. I came away from this meeting wishing for a regent’s exam in Health! Then maybe I’d be taken seriously.
I hope you are successful in improving your health. If you stick with it you are going to find you’ll have endless energy. Then I hope you will do what you can to help the student’s in your district the same opportunity.

Neil Rochelle

Thank you Joe and Amy for your comments. I agree totally with Joe's belief that increased student activity in athletics and physical activity does positively impact academic achievement. There is a plethora of literature to support your position. Nonetheless, these activities are still seen as "extras" and separate from the curriculum. After several parent complaints about students not receiving the appropriate amount of PE in New York, the state education department is watching schools carefully and has directed superintendents to look at their PE schedules carefully. While this may not address 'more' time allocated, at least we can be sure that students receive what is required.
Amy, your plate is full but sounds exciting. Just remember that feeling better about yourself and your relationships will make you an even stronger leader. They do go together. As I am learning the hard way....and yes, as I said I preach the truth even if I don't always follow it, you can only be as strong for others as you can be for yourself. We do have the time. We just have to make the time commitment. Face it, if you were called and asked to make an unplanned meeting for the charter school, you would make the time for it. We need to do the same for ourselves and our families.

Amy Hendrickson

I look forward to hearing more about your progress. Keep us updated!

Thanks, Amy H.

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