Lessons From An Elementary School Practice

As someone who has worked almost exclusively with teens and adults throughout her career, I sometimes forget that life is entirely different in an elementary school.

For example, do you know how tiny the bathroom stalls are in elementary schools? Or that the latches most of the time fail to latch securely? Or that elementary age children overuse toilet paper to the point that flushing poses a significant overflow risk?

So, when a grown woman has to change into her running clothes in one of the little people stalls, it gets pretty dicey. Because you’re inevitably going to find yourself faced with a choice as you’re balancing unsteadily on one leg. Do you lean against the precariously latched stall door and chance falling out into the elementary school bathroom pantsless? Or do you just accept your fate and go ahead and fall straight into the unflushed toilet? Neither of these seem like an acceptable option, so next time I’ll just wait outside the teacher’s bathroom until someone lets me in…or just run in heels.

I also forget sometimes that elementary age kids will latch on to something you’ve said and not let it go. Like, ever.

Like when another coach responded to a direction I gave by saying, “Boom!” I mistakenly said, “I really think someone should just follow me around all the time saying Boom after everything I say.” (It sounded like a really cool idea in my head.)
If you know children, you can guess what happened next. 
“Let’s circle up.” – BOOM
“It’s actually pretty warm out.” – BOOM
“Knees up running.” – BOOM
“Yes, you may.” – BOOM
“Three.” – BOOM
*cough* – BOOM
Really, you learn so much with this group. 

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