Dogs and Cats, together in the classroom.
OVERHEARD IN ASSEMBLY: This song is called “Nowhere Man”, but at Gould Academy everyone is a “Somewhere Person. (rimshot inserted)”
I teach Spanish, which is a job that can be seen as many things: I am a communicator, a helper, a cheerleader (without one of those skirt-y uniforms that the cheerleaders on Glee! wear all the time), a speaker-of-tongues, a trivia master, a historian, a literary analyst, and an assumed expert on anything that ends in “-o” (like “uno”, “amigo”, or “homework-o”).
Last week I was a zookeeper.
No, I’m not talking about a classroom full of Sophomores. I’m talking about real animals, living beings that aren’t human. I’m talking about the kind of animal that can’t hold a fork because it has no opposable thumbs. I’m talking about dogs and cats. And I had both visiting my class last week.
At the same time.
Every year, at least once (in my Spanish 4/5 course), we do a “mostrar y contar” class (Spanish, for “show and tell”). It’s always a highlight of the year for me, because:
- A- My students get to push the envelope of creativity and appropriateness, all in a very safe, educational environment with clear guidelines and a solid plan for success, and
- 2- I just get to show up, watch, and drink coffee.
So every student takes the stage for a few minutes and gets to explain why the (insert interesting object here) that he/she brought is meaningful and fascinating. And this year was no exception to the meaningful/fascinating dynamic duo. In class I saw among other things:
- A special ring
- A special baseball glove
- A special golf flag (mini-green included)
- A special aloe plant (ornaments included)
- A bed. Yes, you just read that correctly. A bed, fully made, with a student in it.
And a dog, and a cat. The phrase “recipe for disaster” jumps to mind. But it actually turned out OK, since the dog had no interest in cats, and the cat was the size of my first car. Everyone presented, everyone had fun (especially me), and everything got cleaned up in time for my next class. Success!!
Or should I say: Success-o!