Among the tens of thousands of runners in the Pleitika Tel Aviv Marathon that will take place next Friday, February 24, the principal of the "Tel Hai" elementary school in the south of the city, Mein Bar-Zur, will also participate.
Bar-Zur, 41, who moved to the city from Haifa and assumed her position only five months ago at the beginning of the current school year, will be encouraged along the way by students from the school as well as many parents - a sign of the great impact and change she has wrought since taking office.
"Since I was a girl, I have been doing sports and I believe that physical activity has a huge impact on the well-being of all of us," says Bar-Zur, who grew up in Kibbutz Bari and after 14 years in the education system, has already reached the position of school principal - a period of time that is considered quite short in terms of the system the education
"This deep understanding of physical activity affects me as a director and, as a result, also the educational concepts of the school. Physical activity has a tremendous and positive effect on both the academic, social and emotional aspects of every student. Those who engage in physical activity Takes everything out of himself, forces himself to deal first and foremost with himself, in order to make an effort and achieve achievements."
My first marathon: the principal of the school will run with the encouragement of her students (photo: courtesy of the photographers)
Bar-Zur lives in a relationship with Yonatan Zeigan, a social worker, and they have three children: Isaac, 9 years old, Alan, 7 years old, and Asia, 5 years old. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in international relations, sociology and anthropology at the Hebrew University, she decided to enroll in the "Hotum" program for converting outstanding academics to teaching: "Yonathan is a social worker and I chose to be a teacher. These are not rewarding professions. Each of us could have chosen differently and had a more rewarding career, but each of us chose to live within a mission."
After two years as a teacher at "Mikva Israel" high school, the couple moved to Haifa following Yonatan's work.
Bar-Zur taught for about a decade in the region, first at the Shifman Comprehensive High School in the Carmelite High School and then in the youth division of the legendary Leo-Bek High School: "These years were an eye-opening experience for me. On the one hand, I submitted to the high school graduation of youth who face complex challenges, and on the other hand, I submitted to the high school graduation of youth Gifted. During these years, I realized that if I really want to leave a mark and have an impact, what I really need to do is work with my elementary age. These are the places where the educational intervention is the most formative and influential. This is my real mission."
After a management course she took at the kibbutzim seminary, before the start of the current school year, she accepted the position of principal of the "Tel Hai" school in Kfar Shalem.
When she took office, it was very important to Bar-Zur that the students of the school give up in advance the "hip" lifestyle, as she calls it, and choose to be active instead of being trapped by choice between the walls.
To this end, she encourages more sports at school: "In Tel Hai, we have a Yehuda girls' soccer team and we have two volleyball teams, one for girls and one for boys. We also go to field races."
Tel Aviv Marathon, February 28, 2020 (Photo: Flash 90, Avshalom Sassooni)
"The school is very communal. It is the beacon of the neighborhood. We have teachers on staff who were students here," she says.
Now, she has taken it upon herself to return the school, which has won various awards over the years, to its glory days, partly through sports culture: "There are 360 girls and boys who grew up here in the neighborhood. There are great children here from a wide and diverse cross-section of the population. Along with the challenges, the connections They are lovely here. The staff gives their heart and soul and now we also have the budgets to meet the goals we set for ourselves."
Now, the school is undergoing an extensive change that includes the construction of an additional innovative building for the school, and the renovation of the existing building.
In accordance with the vision set by Bar-Zur, all sports and activity areas are being expanded and a long jump field is now being built, alongside a new sports hall that was recently built and is used by the school as well as the community: "This neighborhood is changing its face and the school is also changing accordingly."
Bar-Tzur shares how engaging in physical activity contributes to the development of elementary school students: "We introduced cycling lessons in grades 1 and 2. We saw how children who faced fear and balance problems overcome and along the way change their entire self-concept. This program really worked wonders . At the more advanced ages, participating in the volleyball frameworks really changes the school experience for the students. They get a sense of meaning."
Bar-Zur believes that personal example is the key to the success of a program based on physical activity.
In the upcoming Pleitika Tel Aviv marathon, she will run a full marathon of 42.2 km for the first time ever, and for her this is a great challenge: "For me as a person and as a manager, running the marathon is a way of personal development.
Through the experience I am going through here, the children were also exposed for the first time and learned about the history of the marathon, how it started and how it developed.
It greatly enriches them.
The students are going to come to the marathon and be part of this happening for the first time, and they are very excited about meeting what they learned about."
The preparations for the Tel Aviv marathon: want to encourage the students to get out of their "hip" lifestyle (photo: courtesy of the photographers)
Bar-Tzur is prepared for participating in the marathon and shares the secret that makes her persevere and which she believes will make her meet the challenge she set for herself: "When I run, I clear my head and come to many decisions, managerial and other. This is the place that spurs me to succeed, because of the challenge it constantly presents to me. Along with the great support from the community, the children and the parents that I receive before the marathon, I believe that it is this encouragement that will make me successful."
The Playtica Tel Aviv Marathon will take place for the 15th year on Friday, February 24, initiated by the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and produced by the "Kfaim" company, with the participation of over 40,000 runners and runners who are expected to take part in one of the six urban routes passing through the city: the marathon (42.195 km ), the half marathon (21 km), a 10 km race, a 5 km race and a hand bike race for the disabled.
A mini-marathon race for children will be held on Wednesday, February 22 (800 meters and 1.5 km).
Welfare and health education
Tel Aviv marathon