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East County Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 8 years ago

Teachers hustle toward goal

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — When Christine Bradford and Susie Johnson took their first strides for the Harvest Hustle 5K race Nov. 21, the Willis elementary teachers had a cheering section of their own.

Among the audience were their family members and even some of their students, who couldn’t have been more excited.

“I’m proud of her,” Johnson’s kindergarten student Aaron Catchen said.

In September, the women told their students they wanted to run a 5K before Dec. 1 without stopping and in less than 45 minutes. And as the kindergarten teachers crossed the finish line, their accomplishment couldn’t have been a better example of setting and fulfilling goals — one of Manatee County Public School’s strategic objectives.

“It was just fabulous to reach our goal, and it was wonderful to celebrate with some of the students who were there,” Bradford said after the run.

In the last year, Johnson and Bradford both begun exercising more regularly. Knowing they would be teaching their students about setting goals, they decided running a 5K would be a good way to model goal setting for their students while also keeping online with their personal fitness goals.

In September, the women spoke with their kindergarten students about the importance of setting goals and how to make sure those goals are accomplished. The teachers committed to practice running every week to prepare for a 5K and even made a timeline in the hallway at the school to mark start of their goal to its fulfillment.

“Just setting a goal has made me more determined to do (the race),” Johnson said. “If I had not set this goal with my students, I don’t know that I would have followed through with it.”

“Now (our students are) setting goals, and they have been keeping track of us, too,” she said. “They are making sure we stick with our plan.”

Bradford and Johnson also tracked their progress through the E-Folio program, an Internet-based program designed to allow students and teachers to feature their work and track progress through the course of their study, Bradford said.

For more photos from the Harvest Hustle, visit our gallery.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

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