“I fell over!”

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…

Cold and sunny, and you can see the mountains from the top of this “mountain”!

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.

Paying attention

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.

My snowboard at Louise (I’m short on pictures this week)

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? 

Maybe they’ll end up here?
Or here! I hope so…

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!



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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

24 thoughts on ““I fell over!””

    1. We had a great time! I’ve enjoyed teaching middle school – to be fair, having taught most grades, they all have their own set of interesting challenges…
      Thanks for reading, and have a great week! (If this comment, or one similar appears again, apologies, as WP seems to be glitchy again…)


  1. Really fun post, pc, had me chuckling as usual. A lot of sore butts. But way more adventure and never-to-be-forgotten moments for each lucky kid. I love the Shaun White exchange. Man, you sure have a lot of patience, my friend. Many thanks and a solid salute for giving these kids hope and experience.


    1. Happy to hear you enjoyed this one, Jet! Students loved their time on the snow, and it was great to share it with them. Have to say, snowboarding is far easier without a student or two hanging grimly from your arms….they let go eventually!
      Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got to be envious of your ability to get out there and making an outdoor mark with these kids who, in turn, lend some light and hope for the generation currently in charge. Very nice! The snippets of conversation can be story starters for you, as in “Hearsay Tales” (“I wasn’t really there when it happened but I heard it from so-and so who heard it from so-and-so that…”) and it all starts in the camaraderie of snow school with Mr. PC!


    1. Yeah, those students ended the week with some great tales to tell – and some of them might even have been true(ish) – in the tradition of campfire stories…
      You know, I’d love to take these guys fishing, but I’ve yet to figure out a way to make that happen. Be fun to learn along with them. Future project I think!
      Thanks, Walt, and I hope your week is off to a good start.


    1. Good question! Of the forty or so students we took last week, seven went back with their parents over the weekend, and three stayed on after school on Friday evening. We’ve planted the seed…
      I hope your week is off to a good start!


  3. Kids say the darnedest things. I’ve yet to go snowboarding, but it is something that I would like to try someday and I too would watch a movie with Darth Vader skiing and Han Solo snowboarding, but I do have to disagree….I think Vader would totally snowboard. Have a great weekend!


    1. The enthusiasm and effort the students showed over the three days was wonderful – it isn’t always like that, but they were days to remember…
      Thanks, and have a great week!


  4. Hello Plaid Camper – thank you for the post. My favourite photo is “paying attention”. It is great to see the students being so attentive. A field trip such as this is a wonderful life lesson for the students,- never, never give up,

    Have a lovely week and enjoy the warm Calgary weather!


    1. Hello Pandora – glad you enjoyed this one. I wish I could say the students are always that attentive! They are a great bunch to work with, and they pick up new learning pretty well – particularly if it is hands on.
      Have a wonderful week! (I’m not fond of chinooks, but you’re right about it being warm!)


    1. Paskapoo is where we were! There’s quite a full on operation up there, and it’s a great place for kids (of all ages) to learn and enjoy a winter activity. You wouldn’t get me doing the luge or ski-jumping though…
      I hope your week is off to a good start, Wayne! We’ve got a chinook, and I don’t much like it.


    1. Thanks, Maria! I think the students I teach might not see me as a fun teacher all the time, but, within the curriculum I’m obliged to teach, I aim to educate and engage as best I can…
      I hope your week is going well!

      Liked by 1 person

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