The phone rang at 6:00 this morning and it was back to the real world. My services were needed at the school down the road, First Grade. Due to unusually heavy snow here, school was out the week before Christmas, with an additional week off for the holidays. These kids came back to their regular teacher on January 4, only to have him out sick, with another sub for a few days. It now came down to me to end their week on a sane note.
My day was made when upon my arrival, I learned that at 1:00 the kids would be having a delayed holiday party, complete with a Chocolate Fountain. Let’s just say, every ten minutes I was asked when the fountain would arrive. That happy thought got me through the day, especially during my lunch duty where I peeled two bananas, speared five juice boxes, consoled a sobbing child, pilfered milk and snacks for the hungry, and opened numerous pudding packs and pouches that were almost impossible for me, or the custodian to open! But there would be a chocolate fountain…
When I’m subbing (I like to call myself a guest educator) the teachers that know about my book about National Dog Week are always eager to hear about how things are coming along. They really are interested, and want to know if they can someday use this material as a teaching tool in the classroom. That’s music to my ears, because it is a perfect place for its lessons to be learned.
Will Judy knew the power of our pups as educators. He believed that dogs built character in our young, and taught kindness. He wrote of how children who at an early age cared for pets learned “a sense of responsibility for others-a teaching our schools can give only after some years.”
So the answer is yes, the teachings of Will Judy, and the lessons of National Dog Week can easily be brought into the classrooms of schools across America. I really do hope to hear about some ways this has been done, or will be done this September.
I ended the day with a Scholastic Newsletter featuring “Bo” Obama on its cover. I told the class about my Hooper, who looks a lot like Bo (you can’t see all her white markings in the posted photo). If you need to pass some time during a school day, just ask kids about their dogs, or the dogs they hope to have someday.
Today was a good day, I enjoyed my “dog” talks with my students, and fellow educators, and yes, there was chocolate!
Standby for future posts to include some information about some other fascinating key players of the National Dog Week Movement, and some insight on what it is really like to live with a Portuguese water dog.