We've long teamed up with IMM for our Monumental Match-Up, giving teachers the opportunity to get more supplies for their classrooms with each IMM event registration. Some teachers take the challenge head-on, signing up for an IMM race event themselves!
We caught up with two of our teacher shoppers who moonlight as runners to learn more about their experiences both in the classroom and hitting the pavement for training.
Aigner Blade, Arlington Middle School
I was inspired to finally run a full marathon by many of the members of BGRIndy (Black Girls Run
Indianapolis). BGR a great, well organized Running Group comprised of women (of multiple races,
nationalities, and cultures) who run and walk many local races around the area and abroad.
How long have you considered yourself a ‘runner’?
I was a collegiate track athlete at Missouri Baptist University 2005-2009. I graduated, got married, and stopped running for child bearing (5 kids in all). I began running 5Ks and half marathons a few years after moving to Indy.
How long have you been a teacher?
I've been a teacher since May, 2009. I was hired the day of my college graduation to finish out a school year for a displaced teacher. This was in St. Louis, MO. I moved to Indy in 2011 and have continued teaching. Altogether that is around 10 years.
Do you feel there are any similarities between running a marathon and being an effective teacher?
INDEED! The training, the mental preparation, having the right tools and fuel, the mental toughness
needed during the hard parts, the support from family and friends and donors even, the leadership from a good trainer, and the love of the sport are all parallels. I could seriously write a book. The lesson I learn and that I am able to instill as a teacher, a runner and a track and field coach are endless. And may of them overlap: fortitude, endurance, honesty, learning from failure, avoiding distractions, setting goals, pacing yourself, beating and being your personal best, etc!
What is your favorite thing on the shelves at Teachers’ Treasures?
The pencils!! I believe that it's my students favorite thing, too. The never seem to return them. They
must love them as much as I do!
Kara Schaffer, Chapel Glen Elementary School
I originally started running the 5K at the Indianapolis Monumental with Wayne Township Schools several years ago. When I turned 50 I decided it was time to challenge myself with a half marathon. I love that the course is flat and enables you to see the beauty of downtown. The perfect weather and atmosphere make it a race I look forward to every year.
How long have you considered yourself a runner?
I was on the track team in high school but after that didn’t really start running again until I hit 40. I still don’t always see myself as a runner but I am a member of Speedway Running Club. Their encouragement has inspired me to run more and get students involved in running as well. I coach 3 running clubs for students in grades 3-6 and am the distance running coach for Chapel Hill Middle School.
How long have you been a teacher?
I have been a teacher for 25 years in grades preschool – 3rd grade. I currently teach Kindergarten at Chapel Glen.
What are the similarities between teaching and running a half marathon?
There are several similarities: If you aren’t prepared, you won’t do your best. Each year you become stronger. Don’t let a bad day get you down, pick yourself up and try again. You feel such a sense of accomplishment when you finish the half marathon; this same feeling comes at the end of the year when you watch all the progress your students have made because of all your hard work.
What’s your favorite item at Teachers’ Treasures?
I am just so appreciative that Teachers’ Treasures has so many free supplies for my students to help them be better prepared for learning.
Any words of advice for first time teachers/runners?
Teaching and running are very similar. Take it one day at a time, set your own goals, don’t let others set your pace – find your own and excel at it. Find others that enjoy your passion for teaching/running and have fun together. Don’t be discouraged by tough days – we all have them (in the classroom and while running). My final piece of advice would be to wake up with a good “I can do it” attitude and you can accomplish anything.
We're excited to cheer Aigner and Cara on when the CNO Financial Group Monumental Marathon takes to the streets Saturday, November 9!
Want to be Monumental in another non-running way? We need volunteers to help us man the Teachers' Treasures water station! See open spots here.