Shoes, Rolling Pin and an Apple Watch
Approximately three months ago I developed chronic foot pain (Plantar Fasciitis). The pain was excruciating and made it virtually impossible to move freely around the classroom. I began to limp around the chairs and desks of students and duty at morning tea and lunch became agony.
I conducted some research to determine how to reduce or at least manage the severe pain. Reports suggest rest; however, good teachers rarely sit and are often on their feet. Most educators are aware that lame teachers and lecturers reside at their desks or lectern for prolonged periods and quality teaching practice requires all quadrants of the classroom to have teacher presence throughout lessons. I discovered that on average I stand 14 hours every teaching day and this is result of my teaching methodologies and activity participation in student learning. It became evident; however, that I needed to change my teaching behaviour to address the pain and reduce discomfort. I adopted the following five methods;
I purchased quality insoles to reduce pressure on my heel when standing. I switch the shoe inserts between footwear. The padding has made a remarkable difference.
2. New Shoes
My sneakers were approximately one year old. I wear them regularly for sporting activities and new shoes improved my foot protection and provided quality padding and support for the arch and foot. The ASICS footwear is comfortable and assisted with recovery.
I wrapped a rolling pin in glad wrap and every evening massaged my heel. Rolling the pen under my foot to message the foot bridge released tension and reduced pain immediately. The natural remedy made noticeable difference over several days of therapy.
4. Apple Watch
I can view activity on my Apple Watch and track how often I stand. I use the wearable tech to monitor progress and ensure I maintain a healthy balance.
There are certain spaces in the room that are difficult to see and monitor student activity. Often I paced between these points and this contributed significantly to experienced pain. In response I used my iPhone and Camera App to stream classroom footage to my Apple Watch. This reduced my need to walk backwards and forwards to the verandah where students were working. This provided a practical and easy solution to eliminating travel around the learning environment.
I rarely sit during the school day. Aware of the fatigue and strain this is causing to my feet I now attempt to sit more regularly. Often helping students by squatting, kneeling or standing, I now perch myself beside a student to provide guidance and support. Milk crates scattered around the room in learning areas make affordable and comfortable seating.
Employing these five simple strategies saw the quick return of my health. I still have mild pain; however, continual use of these techniques should see the return of full health in a short period of time. I encourage teachers to maintain healthy posture, lifestyle and teaching practice. Wearing comfortable shoes and adopting strategies that reduce need to be on your feet will benefit health and well being.