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Summer Goal Setting

By Angela Bunyi on August 13, 2010
  • Grades: 3–5


School has ended for us here in Murfreesboro, and we have family in from Hawai'i, so I am sorry for the delayed post, but I did want to share some news and ask for your feedback about our plans for Top Teaching next year. I am also providing some personal tips on goal setting in and out of school.

Photo: Consider creating goals outside of school perimeters. I am making my return to running, something I formerly excelled at.





Creating and Attaining Goals Outside of School


Do you have a bucket list? I am not a fan of the term, but there is some definite value to creating a list of "things" you want to do, preferably long before you die. I would like to share how I am tackling a few of my goals. My first premise is to get rid of the excuses. If it's a trip abroad, find an organization that is designed for teachers and/or college credit. Then find resources that can make that happen with little or no money. My next stop on my list is Machu Picchu and Cuzco in Peru. It's already marked on a framed map with flag pins. My map even has a color-coded key; I take traveling that seriously.

With a little bit of searching, I found GEEO (Global Exploration for Educators Organization) that organizes two week summer trips designed for educators at a really low price. Dates are organized a year before or more and links for grants are provided to assist you on a free or near free trip. I have even recruited some other teachers to look at this organization. Let the grant writing begin!

You can do it.

Or there is my current conquest of getting back into shape for a full marathon next December. Lots of backwards planning and details go into making that happen. This has included eating correctly, doing weights, yoga, and core exercises, and, oh, running. Of course, it is quite the challenge to do that on my own, so I found support quickly. I emailed and spoke with my school faculty a few times, and here is what I was able to set up:

~ Daily workout in the library after school using the P90X program. Our group consisted of five teachers that kept me accountable of showing up and pressing "play" each day. Workouts consisted of abs, yoga, plyometrics, pull-ups, push-ups, weights, cardio — the whole nine yards. The average workout is one hour to one hour, thirty minutes.

~ Post-school workouts commence at my house, 7 am, and at another teacher's house on Tuesday and Thursday. Our 90 days of working out together goes all the way through the summer (week of August 6).

~ To keep eating healthy, our workout group started cooking for each other once a week. This included breakfast, two snacks, and a lunch. The key requirements were that meals not be processed, and that they be low in sodium and sugar, and in general, very healthy. What a nice way to stay on track and not have to make meal after meal from scratch each day.

~ Morning runs occur before anyone is up in the Bunyi household. My morning usually consists of a three mile run (for now).

~ I also joined a running group with a coach. We meet twice a week for speed workouts and longer runs. This group will continue through a half marathon at the end of September.

~ I also joined Miracle Marathon to run for a cause. My goal is to raise $250 for children under Hopegivers International.

You can support me with just a dollar through this wonderful organization (your name is displayed, if you like).


So, ask yourself before the school year is over, "What is it I REALLY want to do?" From there, determine when you want to do it by and start working backwards. For me, having social support and being vocal and open about my goals keeps me more accountable. Even posting my goals here keeps me accountable. August 6 is not too far away. Will I stay on track? There's not even a slight doubt in my mind. There's too much set up in my favor not to. And that's how you make it all happen.




Top Teaching Plans for Next Year




Although we are still in the planning phases, Top Teaching will look a little different next year. I will be returning along with a few new teachers (not sure if we can share this yet!). Up until now, I have written posts while teaching 3rd and 4th grades, and next year I will offer posts on 5th grade. I would love to hear your thoughts on what topics you would like to hear more about.

But for now, I have a run to get in, a classroom to set up, a workout to get to, some family to spend some time with, and thoughts to ponder for next year. I am so blessed.

Wishing you the very best, I am signing off until the next school year. My new room is almost complete, so I will post some photos shortly.

Much respect,







Comments (15)

Yeah! I just returned from a vacation and was able to get in my P90x workouts each day (along with an Insanity program and running). I was so proud of myself! It's really become a habit. Good luck to you and the 90 day challenge!



The p90x is coming today!!

I am definitely going to try it. I need to do something to get me back into shape. Thanks for the info! Enjoy your summer.

Hey Maureen,

I can answer this because it already happened to me. I got to week 2 stopped for a 1.5 weeks and wasn't sure where to pick up the schedule. The suggestion made by the site was to start over, which I have.

However, I would research if their is a workout room that has a DVD player and go this route...or bring a laptop and plug in the CD in your room/workout room.

When I went to Chicago, I brought my laptop, the CDs, and my weights. We are also going on a business trip with my husband next week for three days, and I will be doing the same plan (the hotel has a built in indoor/outdoor water park, so I am excited!).

One other note, if you are about to go on the cruise shortly, it is probably best to wait until you return to start the program. You WILL be very sore and your quads will be on fire after the plyometric workout (day 2 of phase I).

Hope you have fun on your cruise and that you give the program a try. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! :)


My last post never went through, so forgive me if it goes through twice. Just a quick question: What happens if you can't do a week of it? I am going on a cruise and it seems as if I won't be able to do it for that week. Do you start over after that missed week?


Time and commitment. The workouts are not easy, they are not short, and it requires a lifestyle change to work. Luckily, a daily nutrition guide is included in the plan, which is how my group ended up cooking for each other while in school.

Most workouts lasts 1 hr.- 1hr. 30 minutes. There are three different plans (classic, lean, and doubles). I am following doubles because I have the time during the summer. Lean is geared for those that just want to lose weight, but if you want to learn how to do some real pull-ups and push-ups, I don't recommend it.

Tools needed- Pull-up bar, a pair of dumbells, and a mat.

There are three phases, or three months, and within each phase you have a different workout each day. It alternates cardio with weights. Eg:

Sunday- Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps (weights), and ab workout (1hr. 15 or so).

Monday- Plyometrics- cardio, 1 hr.

Tuesday- Back & Biceps (weights) and ab workout (1hr. 15 or so)

Wednesday- YogaX- 1hr. 30 minutes

Thursday- Legs & Back (weights) and abs (1 hr. 15 or so)

Friday- KenpoX (boxing and kicking)- 1 hr.

Saturday- Rest/Stretch

Since I am doubling up, I am usually completing a workout called CardioX in addition to running on most days. My results have been substantial, and when my son said, "Mom, you don't have a pooch anymore," I have become more motivated to push on with the program. I am currently on day 29.

Total length- 90 days. Most people seem to go on and try Insanity after finishing this program. I'll probably do the same.

You can learn more about it by Googling Beachbody...then you can share your love for Tony Horton like I do. :)

Hope that helps! I'd be happy to answer more questions, if you are interested!


I would love to know what the P90 entails.


That's great to hear...and yes, you can get a few teachers to join in for P90x. It has made all the difference in the world for me, including working harder! I am currently doubling up now with the program (in addition to running), which means I do one workout with teachers and another P90x on my own. There is NO way I could do it on my own 6 days a week. Even when the group dwindled down to one today, it was better than nothing!

And although I am pretty tiny, I have already lost 9 pounds and 9% body fat. I'm kicking it hard! If you want more details on the program, let me know. I am a full advocate...




I don't know of any organizations with this short of a planning slot. However, I would continue looking for grant opportunities. For example, I applied through the Han Ban Institute to go to China this summer in preparation for a Chinese teacher on exchange for the year. Although I wasn't selected (they prefer programs that are already in progress), there are other programs out there.

But I hope you make your way out on an adventure. It's such a worthwhile experience!


Hi Angela, I am so glad to hear you will return next year. Ever since your very personal post on struggling with "approval addiction." I have been a loyal reader. I had a similar year, but I am so inspired by your most recent goal setting post. I need to make a plan like this! I wonder if I could get my fellow teachers to do P90X with me...

Thanks for all the great ideas and have a wonderful summer!

Hi Angela,

I have followed you on Scholastic and your website for a couple of years and can't thank you enough for the inspiration you have provided me! I am looking to take some sort of trip this summer that can help to recharge my batteries, unfortunately I am getting a very late start planning. I was wondering if you knew of any other organizations or web sites that I could look into that offer summer trips for teachers. The ones on GEEO are either full or WAY too expensive! Again thank you for your helpful ideas and inspiration! Have a wonderful summer!

Hello Cathy,

We sure do! My sister has three children in school in Kailua (elementary and middle school) and my husband's sister teaches at a high school in Kapaau. It has been interesting, to say the least, to hear their perspectives.

And thank you for the kind words. On those weeks were I was feeling like I had too much on my plate to post anything, it's reader comments like yours that keep me going. I am looking forward to next year and excited to share some new resources (bonus- and the room just MIGHT be my favorite set-up yet).



Hi Angela, If you have relatives from Hawaii, then you must know what a crazy school year we've had in our state. I have looked to your posts for guidance and light. You've been a life saver. Thank you for your posts on Top Teaching and really all of the resources you've provided for the past few years. I consider you a mentor and although I teach 3rd grade, I'm sure as always I will find treasures in your posts. Have a great summer and I look forward to more next year.

Hello Amy,

How about two second grade teachers and a kindergarten teacher (if my Internet research is correct)?

And I am VERY excited about returning next year through the 5th grade perspective. While I was in 4th I was able to share a lot through Scholastic, but not so much this year. I am ready to bring it all next year! I hope you will continue to visit and find useful information. :)

Happy summer to you...


Hello Angela, I am a second grade teacher, but I love reading your blog posts, and have gotten a lot of inspiration from them. So I will continue to read when you are teaching 5th grade. I would love to hear from a teacher of your caliber who teaches second grade as well! Any chance Scholastic can get someone on board for the next school year? Have a wonderful summer!

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