• Welcome to Mr. Marks' Blog

    Posted by Ryan Marks on 8/9/2019 6:00:00 PM

    My name is Ryan Marks.  I teach 7th grade physical education at Louis Pasteur Middle School in Orangevale, Ca.  This blog will serve as a way to connect with the Pasteur community on a personal level by sharing my experiences related to sports, physical fitness, and education.    




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  • Welcome to 2019-20 School Year

    Posted by RYAN MARKS on 8/8/2019 7:05:00 AM

    I love this time of year because it's always filled with a mixture of optimism and nervousness.  I'm sure that many of you are excited to start your new journey this year at Pasteur and it's OK if you are not sure what to expect.  I understand that some of you may need an adult on campus to help you as you carve out a path for yourself.  Please feel free to come chat with me if you are having a difficult time getting your feet on the ground.  

    I look forward to working with all of you this year! See you next week :)



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  • My Current Fitness Plan

    Posted by Ryan Marks on 5/1/2019 2:30:00 PM

    I am currently following a "3 on, 1 off" format of working out with two alternating 3-day schedules.  I encourage everyone to develop a routine that works for them.  


    DAY 1: LIFT (chest/triceps/squats/abs)

    DAY 2: CARDIO (30 minute stadium stair circuit)

    DAY 3: LIFT (back/biceps/deadlifts/abs)


    DAY 4: OFF


    DAY 5:  LIFT (chest/triceps/squats/abs)

    DAY 6: CARDIO (30 minute assault bike H.I.I.T.)

    DAY 7: LIFT (back/biceps/deadlifts/abs)


    DAY 8: OFF or YOGA (sun salutations)

     *Back to day 1




    What is your plan?




    hard work!!


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  • The Benefits of Exercise

    Posted by RYAN MARKS on 3/1/2019 3:00:00 PM

    Watch the video at the link below to discover the many physical and mental benefits of exercise.


    The Physical, Mental, & Overall Health Benefits of Exercise   

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  • Healthy Fitness Zone Charts

    Posted by Ryan Marks on 7/30/2017 7:15:00 PM

    Check out the link below to compare your results from the Fitnessgram Test to the Healthy Fitness Zones (HFZ) for your age and gender.




    Which tests are you in the HFZ?  Pick a test or two you'd like to improve and develop a plan to make it happen!!!  




    hard work             strength!!!!               therapy ;)

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  • You Are What You Eat

    Posted by Ryan Marks on 7/30/2017 6:35:00 PM

    Play around with the nutrition calculator found at the link below:




    Search the database for items you've eaten today.  

    Use the nutrition calculator to examine your caloric consumption as well as your macronutrient balance.  

    Examine your sugar and sodium intake.


    Do you consider your nutritional choices today healthy? Why or why not?


    heart health

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  • Don't Procrastinate!

    Posted by Ryan Marks on 7/30/2017 4:30:00 PM

    Watch Tim Urban's TED Talk about procrastination.




    What do you think of the speech? Can you relate to Tim's description of how the mind of a procrastinator works?  Have you experienced any negative effects from procrastinating in the past?

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  • MAT 671 - Pumped Up

    Posted by Ryan Marks on 1/27/2017 7:25:00 PM

         Sometimes a small conversation can go a long way. As a teacher or coach we might say something to a student that seems like a small bit of advice or redirection in the moment, but those words have the ability to change an individual forever. I had an experience similar to this when I was 15 years old.

         My sophomore year of high school I played on the Junior Varsity basketball team. I had not played competitive basketball for a few years because a broken arm the previous year kept me from trying out for the team. I am so happy that I played basketball this year because I met John Mchonaha, my all-time favorite coach. Coach Mchonaha liked things done a certain way, and if you did something he didn’t like he would let you know in no uncertain terms that it needed to be fixed. I was perfectly fine with this because I have always liked having structure in my life. Coach Mchonaha had a temper, but he also had the ability to make you want to run through a wall for him, more so than any other coach I ever played for.

          During practice about a week into the season the team was working on executing fast breaks in the “11 Man UCLA Drill.” We would use this drill as our warm-up during the first ten minutes of each practice. I was having a terrible start to practice, and really, I was having a terrible start to the entire season. I couldn’t seem to find the player I used to be when I was in elementary and middle school. It felt like I was always a step late and even the most basic fundamentals were a challenge. After I missed a wide-open layup Coach Mchonaha called me over to the sideline where he was standing, and I remember thinking “oh man, this is not going to be good.” Almost 20 years later I still remember word for word exactly what he said. Coach started in “Marks you got more than what you’re giving me.”   I was shocked he didn’t bring up the missed layup. He continued, “I simply can’t have that. You have more heart and competitiveness inside of you than what you’re showing me and it needs to come out. I can see it when I watch you. I know it’s in there. You’re not giving me everything you have, and I simply can’t allow that to happen.” He was right. I knew it when he was saying it and I knew it needed to change right then and there.  

         In the drill the player who grabs the rebound outlets the ball and starts a fast break in the opposite direction with all new players and the same thing is eventually done at the other end of the court. So theoretically a player could stay in the drill for numerous possessions in a row, as long as they were the one who rebounded the ball and started the break in the opposite direction. When I got back in the drill I dominated for five or six possessions in a row. Every rebound was mine. I felt unstoppable. Coach Mchonaha lit a fire under me and I never looked back. For the rest of my time as a basketball player there was never a question about my effort, heart, or competitiveness on the floor.  Suddenly the game felt easy again. I found the player I used to be that night and it was all because of a quick couple of sentences from Coach Mchonaha. I know coach Mchonaha saw a difference in me that night at practice, but what he probably doesn’t realize is that conversation is burned in my memory. There have been many times in my life, most of which having nothing to do with sports, where I have put myself back in that moment on the sideline to draw inspiration from it; to remind myself that I am a competitor and that I am capable of better if I want to go earn it.  

         I think perception becomes reality with many adolescents. The way they think others perceive them is how they begin to behave. For some kids, if they think others view them as a ‘bad kid,’ they are more likely to make poor decisions and embrace that role as ‘the bad kid.’ The same can be said for positive traits like work ethic and mental toughness. I needed someone else to see me in a certain light on order to see myself in that light. Coach saw something in me that I knew was there all along, but I didn’t truly believe in it until he told me he saw it too.

         Reflecting on this moment makes me think about the role I play in the lives of my students. Am I doing all I can to choose the right words in the moment? Is today going to be that moment for a kid in my class? Possibly…. What a tremendous responsibility to have :-)

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  • MAT 671 - Totally Deflated

    Posted by Ryan Marks on 1/27/2017 4:00:00 PM

         I always felt like one of the best athletes in my class when I was in elementary school. Sports came easy to me. Locomotor skills came easy to me. The one time each week when we would go outside for physical education was my time to shine. Lunchtime sports were the highlight of most days for me because I was one of the best players regardless of what sport was being played. I truly felt that I was going to be a professional athlete one day because I was that much better at most sports than almost all of my peers. This was a source of confidence for me, but little did I know it was a false sense of confidence.

         When I entered middle school as a 7th grader I went from being the best athlete in my school to the middle of the pack. In elementary school I was one of just thirty or so kids in my grade, so there wasn’t much of a talent pool for me to compete against. In middle school I was one of about 300 kids in my grade. I figured there were going to be a few other good athletes, but I had no idea there would be so many. I also was a “late bloomer,” so I was quite a bit smaller than many of the other boys. This really deflated my confidence and I quit playing basketball all together at one point. I felt completely lost because not only had I always identified myself as an athlete, but also I’d identified myself as a great athlete.   

          A turning point for me came around the end of 7th grade when I discussed the situation with my Grandpa. He wanted to know why I quit playing basketball, so I explained to him that I was too small and too slow compared to a lot of the other boys. In the wise manner that only a grandfather possesses, he explained to me that I could overcome my physical disadvantages by focusing on mastering the fundamentals of the game. He also expressed that I would someday catch-up to and pass many of my peers in both size and strength. Armed with this knowledge and inspiration I went to work. I started to practice shooting every single day after school. I also practiced my ball handling and defensive footwork daily, and started to see improvements in both rather quickly. When the summer came around I went to a few basketball camps and continued to focus on the fundamentals as my grandpa suggested.

         The following school year I played basketball on my school’s team and had an enjoyable experience. The fundamentals I worked on helped close the gap between my peers and myself. It wasn’t until a growth spurt in high school that I caught up to the rest of the boys, but my grandpa was right nevertheless.

         Middle school can be tough on some students. Many students are just starting to develop their sense of ‘who they are,’ and it’s important that teachers and parents have positive conversations with kids that help them realize and reach their full potential. Adolescents need to be reminded that many of the challenges they’ll be faced with as a teenager will only be temporary. I was truly deflated and needed someone to pump me back up. I am very grateful for having such a smart man in my life to give me advice and encouragement when I needed it most.              



         Feeling deflated? Come talk to me :-)


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  • The Do's and Don'ts of Motivation

    Posted by Ryan Marks on 1/27/2017 1:00:00 PM

    To maximize motivation in my students I will always try to do the following:


    • Acknowledge good choices
    • Use encouragements when students struggle
    • Compliment successes and strengths
    • Embrace diversity and individuality
    • Make lessons relevant to real life
    • Recite inspirational quotes
    • Demonstrate persistence in challenging situations
    • Pass out ‘Bulldog Bucks’ frequently
    • Encourage goal-setting in all facets of life
    • View mistakes as opportunities to learn




    To keep from lowering motivation in my students I will always try to avoid doing the following:


    • Focusing all of my attention on off-task behavior
    • Implementing a ‘one size fits all’ approach
    • Setting unrealistic expectations
    • Being pessimistic or sarcastic
    • Taking small progress for granted
    • Being closed off to students








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Last Modified on January 23, 2020