Overcoming Emotional, Mental and Physical Challenges

Posted on 09.02.2011


At the beginning of this summer I went camping and climbing with friends.  It was a great time for us all; I returned feeling physically and mentally satisfied and had two “revelations” about education.

All of us were challenged physically AND emotionally and mentally.  It felt great and it was exciting for us all to share that type of feeling.  Through climbing, obviously a physical activity, we pushed ourselves.  Not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well:  our main priority (besides having a blast) was to figure out ways to keep each other safe and how to support each other so we could get up the wall of rock.

We experienced something that’s very difficult to describe: many climbers talk about a “dialog with themselves” or a confrontation of emotion.  In a sense, we were also challenged by our emotions.  Ultimately, we all had to individually problem solve while also managing our emotions.

As an educator, I was moved to see us all grow from this experience; especially the youngest of us.  It seemed like the first time she experienced this type of mental and emotional understanding.

Here is the kicker, I wonder if this would be possible to replicated in the classroom because this type of emotional and mental growth is so key.  It was possible because we were climbing.  How the heck can I bring this to a classroom with 33 students?

We all need experiences that challenge us mentally (problem solving) while having to manage our emotions. (frustration, fear, happiness, adrenalin, etc.)  So now lets bring that into the classroom!


Posted in: curriculum