Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun Friday!

Up until my graduation a month ago, I was still in graduate school working toward my master's in communication and teaching an introductory communication course to college freshman.

After two years of teaching, I've learned two things about college freshman/18-year-olds: For one, some feel like they are "entitled" to an education having just come out of a public or private school system that coddled and spoon-fed them; Second, they tend to take great risks and liberties with their new found "freedoms."

During my first week teaching, I quickly learned that Fridays were unofficially "empty classroom" days. And since I believe that 18 = adult, my attendance policy read like this:

1. It should be no surprise that in a class on language and communication, I expect attendance. I also know that as adults, you have a choice to attend class or not. Attendance is left to your own discretion. However, I can assure you that it will be impossible to get an A, much less pass this course without attending, since daily participation grades, quizzes, and other assignments will be conducted in class. Attendance is vital and a daily attendance sign-in sheet will be passed around each class period.

2. You are responsible for the information missed during absences and no late work will be accepted. I advise that you make friends with at least one person in the class so you can stay up to date on missed work. If you know you are going to be absent, it would be wise to email me any work due PRIOR to the missed class.

3. If you have a legitimate reason for not being in class, you must tell me as far as possible in advance by email or voice mail or bring documentation in case of illness. If you are involved in university activities that will cause you to miss class such as athletics or debate team, I need a schedule of classes that you will miss and a signed letter from your coach or sponsor verifying the info.

4. Tardiness is poison. The third time you are late to class, you will have to write a one-page paper detailing why you can’t make it to class on time. This is strictly for my entertainment. You waste my time and I will waste yours. If you feel you have a legitimate reason that will keep you from consistently being on time (like walking uphill in the snow, both ways from across campus), discuss it with me during the first week of class.

Yeah, it's thorough, but almost too lenient. So, to encourage attendance, every Friday was "Fun Friday." I would do things like hand out candy, do a fun and/or unexpected activity, give extra credit, show a funny clip, or bring in a guest speaker (like my dogs!). It doesn't sound like your run-of-the-treadmill Friday, huh?

(Awwww...After my first day teaching Communication 110 over two years ago...damn my hair was blonde! And I look rough! I remember being SO tired.)

Obviously, the gym and fitness classes aren't exactly like school. Attendance is not required or mandatory, you don't get "graded" on how much effort you put in, and you aren't assigned tests or papers.

But in a lot of ways, fitness is exactly like school. If you attend group fitness classes regularly, your instructor keeps a mental tab on whether you are there or not, or if you are regularly tardy :) Also, scanning in at the front desk is kind of *like* signing in for attendance. Just like college, you are paying to be there, so you should definitely get the most out of your membership and take advantage of your gym's classes, resources, and equipment.

However, keep in mind that you are the ONLY person accountable for your results--the personal trainers and group fitness instructors of the world are there to teach and guide you to results, but the ultimate end result is all about how much you put into it.

Whether you are a gym attendee, a group fitness student, instructor or personal trainer, make it your goal to be a good "fitness student"--get educated on moves, proper form, and nutrition. Push yourself to do better and MORE each workout. If you don't know something, ask! That is how you really start to see progress and results in your fitness.

Going back to Fun Friday...Like college, Friday morning has lately been a slow day in the group fitness room--especially at the summer. As I was leaving the 5:30am Step n' Sculpt class I teach, I was wondering if I should incorporate "Fun Friday" stuff to encourage attendance. Some ideas:

--Bring in treats, such as granola bars, Crystal Light packets (my personal FAV), Propel, or fruit.

--Play a game (I've done this before) like relays, tag or "Laura Says" :)

--Decorations for the room

--Prizes, like "perfect attendance" bracelets, awards, etc.

Are these good ideas or too juvenile? Do you have any ideas for Fun Friday in a group fitness class? What would motivate you to attend a group fit. class at 5:30 in the AM? Leave a comment!

That's my deep thoughts/motivational message/ramblings for today. I can't leave ya without a little fun to get your weekend started right. This is Kanye West's workout plan--hilarious music video. Maybe we can wwwwwoooorrrk it out:

Also, if you're looking for some sweet weekend workout jams, check these out:

1. I Can't Get Enough by Rooney

2. Rock That Body by Black Eyed Peas

3. What Part of Forever by Cee-lo Green (from the Eclipse soundtrack!)

4. All the Way Turnt Up by Roscoe Dash

5. Lemonade by Gucci Mane

Have a swicked weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of "Fun Fridays"!! I like the Crystal Light packet/treats give-a-ways and the "LAURA SAYS" game!! Make an announcement at the beginning of the week that this friday will be "fun friday" and see how many people show up!!

    Another idea:
    Take a song (for example Michael Buble's "Feeling Good" and create SEXY MOVES to go along with the song!!
    *We did this in my aerobics class (the one i took for credit) and it was sooo much fun (and i felt sexy after leaving that class!!!)