An Octopus in Water

I imagine an octopus in water is constantly moving - all 8 arms flailing around as the body floats through the water. Floppy and awkward.

It reminds me of a new student to our school - who landed in my classroom. Just as a reminder to you, the reader, I will tell you that my classroom is outside. I live in a quad that is adjacent to a local wooded park, our windows facing a back field of the school property. Anyone could walk up to my door and knock. Or, in this case, parents.

On the first day of school, Octopus arrived. Both parents in tow. He looked what I thought was timid and unsure at the moment. Now I know that perhaps he was just stuck in his brain and not accessible. I opened the door and welcomed the student to the room. Both parents bombarded the classroom - cracking the working buzz that was happening for those students already hard at work at an opening activity.


Then the parents took the student to his seat. Then they stood there. Then they pointed and dictated what he would write. On his "All About Me" activity page. Then. Mom took the pencil and filled it in herself.

Twenty minutes of my humming and pacing around them didn't phase these 2. They didn't seem to register my subtle pleas to leave their son with me. They didn't mind when I ignored them. Finally, as I started my first lesson of the day - I somehow broke their spell and they left.

Now I see their little man when he struggles with focusing. When he can only be presented with one basic instruction at a time. In writing. His arms and legs are in constant movement, and he seems to be always locked in his own brain.

Slowly I will find a way to pry his brain open - and I will employ many techniques to help him focus his body energy in positive ways that will help him learn.

I'm going to go Google "how to teach an octopus."