It’s Not a Sprint, It’s Not a Marathon, It’s a Relay Race

When it comes to building a positive and productive school, we need to make sure we approach the task from the beginning with the correct mindset. In this instance, I’ll use the analogy of running a race.

If we think of things as a sprint, we might make a lot of progress at first, but we will soon exhaust ourselves. Working in the school system shouldn’t be so demanding and draining that you live life in exhaustion and agony.

If we think of it as a marathon, that’s a little more sustainable, but it doesn’t allow us to address a very wide range of problems. A marathon takes a long time, and a lot of that time can be saved through teamwork.

But if we think of our work as a relay, we can effect a wide range of change without burning ourselves out. 

So what does that look like outside of the analogy?

To engage in your school like a relay, you’ll need to initiate a positive change, form it into a consistent practice, and then find the right people to pass that practice onto.

For example, let’s say you want to help your students avoid negative behaviors like drugs and alcohol. You can create a powerful initiative that will have a lasting effect through peer-to-peer programming. In simplest terms, you create a self sustaining program that will teach older students to steer younger students towards more positive choices.

Or if you want to think big, you can get a whole bunch of batons to several students by focusing on student leadership programs and using their insights to guide your vision!

If we give students a chance to have buy-in and a chance to help, many will always jump at the chance. You’ve got a whole lot of students who want to help build their school into something great.

So hand them a baton and see what happens!

JC Pohl, LMFT
President & CEO, TEEN TRUTH

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