Teacher: Goodness! Are you alright? What happened?
Student: I fell over!
Teacher: But your arm is okay? Yes? Tell me the story!
Student: Well, I was going down the hill, and then I fell over!
We took a group of grade 5/6 students to WinSport, formerly Canada Olympic Park, at the west edge of Calgary. What an opportunity! Cold and sunny, not too windy, so what’s not to like? Three days of ski or snowboard instruction – why, that’s almost as good as three days in a classroom with Mr. PlaidCamper…
The rest of my week has been spent writing report cards, so the post is from the mouths of students. I started off with the tale of the broken arm – that’s what we thought when Ski Patrol radioed in and said there’d been an accident. Fortunately, ice , sympathy and time revealed no more than soreness and what I hoped would be quite the tale. We’ll do some work on embellishment and tall stories next week in class, because what you read above is the story D told me – he fell over.
Let’s try another one:
Student: When I was living in Nigeria, I had a dream about playing in snow. Today I will try snowboarding. God has given me a gift from my dream.
Teacher: That’s lovely, J – but do you think you could push your foot a little harder into your boot?
Student: I think I need smaller feet, Mr. PC.
Teacher: An interesting idea J, but perhaps we’ll try the next boot size up first?
J did get a larger size up, and he did spend three days learning to snowboard. Or three days playing in the snow. His first Canadian winter, and he’s embracing it!
How about P, who has ASD and loves Star Wars:
Student: Can I keep the boots? I’m like a stormtrooper on a snowboard. When I go home, I’m making lego Darth Vader on skis.
Teacher: Would Darth prefer snowboarding?
Student: No, he skis and Han Solo snowboards.
Fair enough. I’m looking forward to that movie.
Here are a few more snippets from students, and I have to say they thoroughly enjoyed their time on the “mountain”!
My butt hurts!
Can I switch to skiing? (After seeing a skier blast by)
Can I switch to snowboarding? (Snowboarder blasted by)
My board is the wrong colour – I need a blue one! (We did establish that colour likely wasn’t the issue, and that getting up and trying again helps…)
My butt hurts!
Can we eat this snow?
Are you really related to Shaun White, Mr. PC? (Not exactly, but there are similarities, don’t you think?)
But Shaun White has hair!
My butt hurts!
Can we come back next week?
Oh, how I wish we could be back there next week. Seeing students fall over, flail around a bit, realize they’ll have to pick themselves up, and then do so with a smile and a laugh, really gives me hope. Their character is revealed, and they start to realize that work, effort and play can, sometimes, be pretty much the same thing.
Thanks for reading, please feel free to share a story, and have a wonderful weekend!