Mrs. O'Brien

Lyrics ©2014 by Gretchen, Bill, and Katie Roper
Music ©2014 by Bill Roper

We'd written a song for Katie's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Schaefer. Now, Katie wanted to write a song for her first grade teacher, Mrs. O'Brien. We could do this!

But life was very busy, and although Gretchen had constructed a chorus, a verse, a coda, and a plan for two more verses in plenty of time, I was rather late contributing my part of the project. As a result, Katie delivered the song on the next to last day of class for the year. It was happily received by Mrs. O'Brien and the class, who were soon singing along on the chorus.

The song is easier to understand if you know what's being referenced. So here you go:

The pigeon comes from the book by Mo Willems that Katie is very fond of and which pushed her over the edge to active reading.

Every Friday, a Mystery Reader (frequently a parent or other relative) comes to the class late in the afternoon to read them a story. The Reader sends clues to help the class guess who he or she might be.

The students collect tickets for good behavior which they can exchange for special treats, such as going to the other first grade class for a day.

There's a behavior report that comes home with the student each day where the space for the day is colored green for good behavior, yellow for a small problem, and red for a big problem.

And the bucket is where the class collects points that can be exchanged for a class party when the bucket is full.

G            Em   C              D
Mrs. O’Brien says growing things rule.
   C             G             Em             D
We see it in the garden, let’s try it here in school.
     C                  D
They put down roots, we reach for the sun.
    G                    Em
Our learning adventure’s just begun.
      C              D                  G
Let’s grab a book to read and have some fun.

Please be a Bucket Filler.
Don’t be a Bucket Spiller.
Change your color and stop this fuss
    D                    D7        G
And don’t let the pigeon drive the bus.

Mrs. O’Brien says that math is cool.
It isn’t hard to understand once you’ve got the tools.
Counting up the number line,
As sure as ten comes after nine,
Addition and subtraction’s going fine.

Mrs. O’Brien says reading is neat.
Every Friday afternoon, we get a special treat.
We’re thinking hard about every clue.
Our Mystery Reader might be you,
Bringing us a story that’s brand new.

Mrs. O’Brien says we should be good.
We’re learning to be better than we ever thought we could.
It’s better to be nice than mean
And color up your days bright green.
Our Bucket Party’s going to be keen.

Can I please?
But I have 100 tickets.
Come on, really?
Can I have a hot dog?