The students and staff at the elementary school gave a wholesome surprise to the teacher, sending him off with the best farewell.
There's nothing more precious to a teacher than seeing their students come together to support them. Gym teacher Sam Anderson from Westview Elementary School was touched by faculty and students cheering him on as he prepared for an upcoming marathon. Anderson traveled from his home in Minnesota to run in the 2023 New York City Marathon and the kids wanted to make sure he knew they were thinking of him.
Earlier this month Anderson shared a video on X where runs down the school hallway as everyone claps and holds posters in support of his next milestone. He captioned the video, "Got called into the hallway while teaching my last class today. Turns out the whole school was waiting to send me off to the @nycmarathon this weekend! I’m going to be thinking of this every step of the way when things get tough on Sunday. What a school #PErocks"
The sweetest part of the celebrations was that some of his younger kids thought the hallway run was the start of the race! “Some of the younger students thought that (the hallway rally) was the start of my race and that I was actually running to New York,” he joked to TODAY. “They were like ‘Mr. Anderson... why are you here? I thought you were running to New York.”
Jokes aside, the gym teacher was absolutely touched by the sweet gesture from everyone at the school. “That moment was just so special,” the 29-year-old shared. “Sometimes marathoning is lonely or almost a little selfish and you’re so focused on your running and you don’t get to share with too many people. So to have them acknowledge the fact that I was training hard and was running this race was a pretty special moment that I’ll never forget for sure.”
Got called into the hallway while teaching my last class today. Turns out the whole school was waiting to send me off to the @nycmarathon this weekend! I’m going to be thinking of this every step of the way when things get tough on Sunday. What a school #PErocks pic.twitter.com/L8LjHhajfa— Sam Anderson (@MrAndersonPhyEd) November 1, 2023
His marathon turned out great too, he shared in an update on X. "NYC somehow managed to surpass all of my expectations. The course was incredible and the crowds were absolutely electric! Crossed the line in 2:44. Fell apart a bit in the last six miles but sometimes that’s how it goes in the marathon. Thanks again for all the support! #PErocks," he wrote.
During the event, it was hard to forget the support he got back home. His mind kept going back to all the cheers and high-fives during his hallway run. “I kept thinking to myself, you know, that my students knew I was running. They’re excited that I was there, and they were excited to hear about how it went afterward,” he told the outlet. “I kept thinking about them and saying, ‘Hey, you have to get to the finish line so that you can tell them about it on Monday.’”
NYC somehow managed to surpass all of my expectations. The course was incredible and the crowds were absolutely electric! Crossed the line in 2:44. Fell apart a bit in the last six miles but sometimes that’s how it goes in the marathon. Thanks again for all the support! #PErocks pic.twitter.com/VHJLZ1GTPk— Sam Anderson (@MrAndersonPhyEd) November 7, 2023
The marathoner managed to finish in two hours and 44 minutes and was placed 251 out of the 51,402 total runners. Once he got back the kids kept asking him how it went. “So many students have been like, ‘Hey, did you win, did you win?’” he said. “I tried to explain, you know, no, it’s the biggest marathon in the world.” He now hopes that he is able to inspire students to "maybe someday do their own marathon,” he said. “Or at least set a goal like I did and just work really hard towards that."
While talking about a S of the Month award this week I took a page out of @MrSpringPE’s book and said “I might never win a TOY award but does that mean I should stop trying to be the best teacher I can be?”— Sam Anderson (@MrAndersonPhyEd) April 5, 2023
Before school today a student brought me a handmade TOY award. pic.twitter.com/rLayWX1Fej