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Devil Dog 101: Teachers take notes on Marine fitness, teamwork

9 Apr 2004 | Lance Cpl. Justin V. Eckersley

As soon as they arrived at the school, the seven Marines were sent directly to the principal’s office.Instead of being there for talking in class or not turning in homework, the Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort went to Whale Branch Middle School to help the school’s teachers learn how to keep fit and build teamwork, according to Mildred C. Glover, assistant principal, Whale Branch Middle School.“The focus of the day was educator wellness,” Glover said. While the school’s main focus is on the students, it is important to focus on the adults also, because they must be well in order to do their job, according to Glover. The idea for running the school’s “Fit-Trail,” an exercise course outside the school, came about as a way to pull the staff together.“It’s necessary to strengthen relationships between the adults, because those relationships need to be strong in order to build relationships between thier students,” Glover said.Each Marine acted as team trainers, leading the groups to different stations along the Fit-Trail and demonstrating the proper exercise. Some stations were stretches, while others were pushups or sit-ups. As the teams progressed, they were graded by the Marines on their participation and motivation, fueling competition and teamwork among the teachers.“Before we started, the teachers didn’t want to be separated from their friends,” said Cpl. Daniel G. Lashley. “But once we got started, they bonded.”The Marines aided the teachers with their exercises every step of the way, pushing the teachers to perform to the best of their abilities. Because of that motivation, the teachers worked hard and acted as a team, according to Lashley.“If you can’t walk around and smile even on your worst day, then you have to remember that students have bad days, too,” Glover said.