I teach a class of young ones in our Primary. The class is for 6 to 8 year olds--we have two classes combined since the numbers of enrolled were rather small. Initially, that is. Right now there are 7 on my roll.
A few weeks ago, I had seventeen children in the class. SEVENTEEN! Wow. I was so glad the secretary came along to lend support.
They are cute kids. It's summer time right now and there are a lot of visitors. I had ten children in my class today. That's a lot. Again, we had visitors--but only three!! All seven of the children who are supposed to be in the class were actually there today. One is ....well, SEVERAL are...kind of a handful. They sometimes talk a lot. Today, I did encourage them to take turns talking and they did fairly well. Some like to sit strangely on chairs, kind of propping themselves up, etc. Always tipping, sometimes tripping and kicking. Others like to eat paper. (No handouts for him!)
Today, the behavior issues were taken care of in a rather different way. I managed to fit all the chairs in one long semi-circle, so they were kind of spread and in my peripheral vision I could tell Karter was not sitting on his chair properly (what’s new?), but I was going down the row, one by one, for a brief response from each and figured I would address his posture when I got to him. In the meantime there was a loud “THWUMP!” and there was Karter, lying on his back on the floor in front of his chair!. He’d been kind of squatting on it, I guess, and fell off head first onto the floor! He flipped forward, and he appeared to be hurt, was starting to cry (possibly), but when you are an 8 year old boy in front of peers, it’s a little hard to cry. ( Plus, in the end we figured he’d knocked the breath out of himself. But I didn’t know that at the time.) I thought he’d landed straight on the top of his head, and figured he’d have a nasty head ache. (The floor is carpeted over wood, in case you wondered.) I asked him as he was lying there, not moving much and grimacing badly, if anything hurt other than his head, and he said, “My back,” or maybe he said, “My neck.” In either case, that was more cause for alarm, so I cautioned him to just lie still and I’d go get his mom.
You can imagine what all the other kids were doing at this time—sitting in their chairs, staring wide-eyed. Luckily. I mean, they could have been laughing at him or mimicking him, or any number of awful things, but they were all nice and very concerned.
In the hall I found the meeting house librarian and she’s a first – grade teacher. I asked if she wouldn’t mind helping me with a little “situation” and we went back into evaluate him. By then, he’d caught his breath, could move, wasn’t about to cry. We asked if he could move his legs, and he could. He got up and sat in his chair. Jeannine evaluated his eyes (they were even-looking and focused ok) quickly, and we determined he’d just had the breath knocked out of him.
Guess who sat in his chair the rest of class and was very quiet
and participated nicely? Uh huh. Karter.