My personal tips would include requesting the classroom on the top floor and dispensing with the comfortable teacher chairs.
The following tips are courtesy of .theguardian.com:
Get active in school
Julia Kelly, who teaches English at a Cheshire high school, gets involved in as many active aspects of school life as possible, including becoming leader of all levels of the school’s Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme. “This means I am away with the pupils for a number of weekends over the year, but it also means that the extra-curricular activities I’m involved in require me to be active and keep fit myself,” she says.
On expeditions Kelly carries around 14 kilos of kit and burns thousands of calories a day walking and tracking or training the students. She says that the scheme also inspired an interest in hillwalking, which is now an important part of her life.
If you can’t commit to the full award experience, don’t worry. Other teachers had some rather fun suggestions. Primary teacher Jackie Milne (@milne_stoney) does laps of the playground with students and Laura Dalchow, head of science at a Surrey junior school, enjoys a little dance every now and then with her class.
Get up early
Caroline Weale, who works at a secondary school in Yorkshire, suggests exercising early in the morning. She sets her alarm for 5.45am and swims or exercises in the gym for half an hour before getting ready for school.
She says her ability to rise and shine at the crack of dawn is down to pure will power – and lots of telling herself she is not tired. It was painful at first but now that her body clock is in a routine, it’s much easier. “My mind does not make as many excuses to lie-in as it used to.” After school, Weale says, exercise isn’t an option. “I have so much marking to do, so many parents to ring, so much data to input, meetings galore … so fitness training in the morning is the key.”
If you miss a session or wake up late Weale advises doing something a bit quicker like skipping for 10 minutes or doing a few sit-ups before breakfast.
Join a pay-as-a-go running group
This isn’t like gym membership, where you’re locked into a pricey contract for a year. The flexibility attracted teacher Charlotte Pearson. She says that if she has a last-minute lesson observation and can no longer make the club she doesn’t need to stress as she pays per session.
She joined a running group, mainly attended by women with busy lifestyles, three months ago and now goes twice a week. The group runs anything from five to 10 miles in each session.
“If I have a deadline to meet, then I just go to the next session. I’ve also made a lot of new friends, lost weight, toned up, dropped a dress size and I’m putting myself forwards for things that I never thought I’d do – like a half-marathon next month and also the Yorkshire marathon in October,” she says.
Not a fan of clubs and don’t have the time after work? Squeeze a running session into your lunch break, advises Leah Cunnah, who does a casual 5k between lessons.
Work exercise into your commute
Grammar school headteacher Chris Pyle fits exercise into his busy schedule by running to school. He jokes that you only need to run to work once a week for students to be convinced you’re at it every day. “They tend to find it amusing, obviously, but I like to think it sets a good example.”
Pyle says if you’re thinking of doing something similar you need to get organised: bring suits and shirts to work the night before or carry them in a running bag (which can lead to a lot of creasing). He also says showering on-site afterwards is essential, as is a plan for how you can bring in or take home marking.
Pyle says the logistics of running home are a bit easier, and it’s best to alternate running with cycling or other forms of exercise to make sure you don’t tire your legs out. For motivation he keeps a diary of the miles he has run.
“I think my most memorable run to school was being dive-bombed by a nesting buzzard as I took a short-cut past some woodland a few years ago. It was terrifying. I arrived at school feeling that I had already been through a life and death battle – ready to take on my challenging year 9s.”
He adds: “Teaching is very seasonal, and will always have some really busy periods, with reports deadlines or parents evenings. The important thing is just to keep putting on the running shoes on a regular basis, even if only for a very few minutes. You’re worth it.”
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