Sutter faculty is ‘Fit to Teach’ with new workout initiative

e-Connections Post Sutter

A group of Sutter Middle School teachers is spending two afternoons a week in the gym sweating through a rigorous workout of burpees, squats lunges, kettlebell swings, laps around campus and weight-training.

Their boot camp may leave them drained after an hour, but energized when they get to their classrooms the next day, says teacher Jody Cooperman, who is organizing the exercise sessions.

“There is a connection between being fit and keeping up the stamina for this job,” Cooperman says. “The kids feed off our energy. There’s nothing worse than being in class with a lethargic teacher.”

On a recent Monday afternoon, nine teachers — all women — were put through their paces by instructor Lisa Magley, a trainer at the Rio del Oro Racquet Club. The teachers contracted with Magley and her partner, Matt Short, to lead them through a cross-fit style workout that is fast-paced and challenging. The group also designed their own Sutter-green workout shirts emblazoned with the words “Fit to Teach.”

“It’s awful but it’s good,” says teacher Katie Miller of the workouts.

In addition to getting in shape, Cooperman says the shared exercise experience is bringing the women closer together as friends.

“As a teacher, you can go days without seeing other teachers,” she says. “This brings us together in a positive environment.”

Principal David Rodriguez applauded the Fit to Teach team (Assistant Principal Cristin Tahara-Martin also participates in the workouts) for their dedication and grit. He also gave them props for figuring out a convenient way to “hit the gym” without leaving the campus.

“This is a great way for them to put their minds at ease and not think about work and then go home,” he says. “It’s great stress release.”