November 13, 2013

Toby Goes To School

Posted in: Dog

^ Toby ready to go to school

^ Toby introducing himself to everyone

^ After an hour, Toby was finally able to relax and smile about being at school

^ Toby keeping students company while they worked

^ ‘I love reading!’

^ ‘No thanks, don’t want to read that book’

^ Lots of hugs for Toby

^ ‘Thanks for having me, hats off to you, learning is hard work!’

I love my job, I feel like I am one of the lucky ones who gets to do what they love every day. There is something incredibly rewarding about teaching, I feel like my days are spent doing something purposeful. To my students I sound like a broken record, I’m always on about them making sure they look after their education, nurture it because it will allow them to have a happy and successful future. When you have knowledge and understand how the world works, how to think for yourself, how to solve problems you gain power and with that power comes freedom and with that freedom comes an easier life.

Anyway, enough preaching. Last term, my students wanted me to bring Toby Wigglebottom into the classroom to spend the day with them. They had obviously heard a lot about him, seen a lot of photos and felt that he was a bit famous and really wanted to meet him. I decided they had to work for the privilege of meeting him. As dogs aren’t allowed at school I said they had to try and convince the principal to let Toby come to school. The students created research papers on the benefits of having a dog in the classroom and how they can help students learn. They also created a petition getting over 200 signatures from adults agreeing that Toby should come to school.

On Tuesday, my second last day at school, Toby came along. I thought he would love it as last year when he was a puppy, Andrew brought him in for half an hour to meet my old grade. Toby ran through the front door, bouncing around like it was Christmas, kissing every student, his tail wagging at a 1oo miles an hour. I thought he would act the same this time round as well. He didn’t, he was scared and wouldn’t leave my side. He has definitely become more cautious in his old age. Needless to say, the kids absolutely loved him and it did take about an hour for Toby’s tail to lift from between his legs. All the students got cuddles and their photo taken with him and he also spent time sitting next to students on chairs, reading with them. Every classroom should have a class dog, the way Toby calmed some of my students was incredible, and seeing some of my students hugging Toby with their eyes closed made my heart pang.

It was a great day for everyone, I think Toby had fun too. I said bye to my grade yesterday, five weeks early. It was sad, they were so much fun, they made me laugh everyday. I’ll miss them but I’m looking forward to my adventure into my new classroom in Africa…tomorrow!