Parachutes, Buzz Lightyear, and Orca Whales

25 09 2010

School is already in full swing.  New school, new curriculums, new colleagues, and lots of new kids.  It has been getting better and better each day, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t spent most of September feeling completely overwhelmed.  All of the newness and change, combined with the largest class I’ve ever had before has led to stress, very long work hours, and even a few tears.  Luckily, day by day we are getting to know one another and the routines and we are coming together in our classroom community.

28 is a lot of six year olds to keep focused, entertained, and engaged all day long.  They can’t sit still for longer than 1 minute (unless you are reading a story or showing a video), they are constantly touching one another and attempting to regulate one another’s behavior…with complete disregard for their own behavior, and they are always talking…but at the same time they are curious,  kind-hearted, creative, and imaginative.  When they are creating and exploring they are blown away by their new discoveries, which is amazing to witness.  In science we’re studying air, so we made parachutes with paper napkins, string and a paperclip.  We had the perfect windy day to test them outside.  One boy’s parachute caught the wind just right and it flew so high I was even in awe.  He became the kid from the youtube Nintendo 64 video.   “OH MY GOSH!! LOOK AT THAT!  AHHH!”  Red-faced, eyes bugging out, screaming as it sailed up over the fence.  The parachute then proceeded to land on the power lines.  Immediately 28 sets of eyes looked to me to see how I would rescue the parachute.  Momentary panic set in as I predicted our most successful experience thus far ending in tears.  Luckily at that moment another gust of wind freed the parachute and it sailed down the street.  I still ended up being the hero, being the only one allowed to go into the street to get the parachute.

My biggest behavior challenge thus far is an adorable, incredibly smart boy.You see, he has a submarine and a rocket ship on the playground and also is Buzz Lightyear or a bee, depending on the day.  Buzz Lightyear shoots me and other students with his arm laser throughout the day, while the bee constantly  buzzes.

I thought we were making a little bit of progress one morning as he sat next to me quietly during our community circle.  As we went around the circle each sharing what we had done over the weekend, I patted him on the back and quietly said, “Good job sitting quietly and listening to your friends!”  Halfway around the circle he moved onto his knees.  I was momentarily nervous to see what he might do next, but I relaxed as he continued to sit quietly.  Two-thirds of the way around the circle and out of no where he launches himself into the middle of the community circle, bellyflop style and begins to flop around on the ground yelling, “I’m an orca whale!”  The other 27 first graders and I sat on the ring of his “ocean” for a minute in disbelief.  Now it is pretty funny to retell, but in the moment everyone was too shocked to laugh or even move.  Luckily we were able to catch the orca, get him to sit down again, and continue with our community circle.




6 responses

25 09 2010


Now that you’ve made this public you have to keep updating!!

🙂 🙂


25 09 2010

Oh Emily, got me crying and I should be putting on my makeup. I’m crying because your stories are so funny, and they show what a good teacher you are and the love the kids have for you.
Please keep up your blog. They really make my day.
Sending hugs and kisses until I see you.
Lots of love Teacher Girl

25 09 2010
Matt CB

Best blog ever…whoever this teacher is she sounds like the most awesome teacher ever, and funny too. I could read her stories all day long! I hope she keeps this going.

26 09 2010

I am in love already! Keep blogging! Love you!

28 09 2010
Aunt Joani

I am so glad you are doing this Emily! Grandma forwarded the blog to me! Keep the stories going. Love you!

29 09 2010

Good stuff Emily! Grandma is right – you could write a book. Heck, that “S**t My Dad Says” is now a TV show. You’re an entertaining writer and I can tell you’re a great teacher. Keep blogging – I look forward to reading more.

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