June 1, 2010

“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.”  Lily Tomlin

The end of the school year is upon us. This is a crazy time. It was so crazy today that Gretchen left me at home  while she headed to her classroom. I was kind of bummed, but she said I might get stepped on in all the wild craziness.

Okay, I can live with that.

I wasn’t alone, though. Quillette spent the night last night while her mom was away and so the both of us waited while the humans did their humanly things.

For Gretchen it was teaching, though today she said she didn’t so much as teach as she kept things from exploding. I guess they kids are pretty stressed. They have a big performance tomorrow night and there are always those stragglers who have yet to get done what they needed to get done. From everything Gretchen’s told me, it’s a good thing I stayed home and kept Quillette company.

Or maybe she kept me company. Hard to say.

Anyway, with Gretchen finishing up her last and final year as a teacher, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what makes a good teacher. So today I conducted interviews of our Tuesday clients. Here’s what I found out:

Rosie thinks a good teacher is someone who owns a cat they bring to class and hands out lots and lots of rewards (aka treats) when you do good work. She also thinks swallows should be provided  at outdoor recess that way everyone would get really, really tired chasing them around.

Gemma and Zoe had a long discussion about teachers. Unlike Rosie, they both think that treats are overrated IF you have to earn them before you receive them. (Please notice which of us is doing what is asked in this photo — as in a down/stay).

They also think that good teachers let them play off leash because they believe you learn a lot more when you can face the world leashless.

“A good teacher is a teacher who makes you laugh,” said Zoe.

“A good teacher lets you sit where you want,” said Gemma. “And someone who doesn’t have rules you have to follow. Rules are stupid.”

Saber has had only a few teachers in his short life, but he has all sorts of ideas about good teaching.

“They teach you to levitate!”

“They let you roughhouse a lot!”

“They let good friends sit together and there’s always time for a nap!”

Gretchen always says that every student needs their own teacher, that not everyone can teach everyone. I never understood that until I started going to school with her. There are just as many people personalities as there are dog-a-nalities and each of those students, be they canine or human, has specific needs.

My needs? Good food, good friends, lots of love, and plenty of time wear myself out!

Until tomorrow,

Rubin

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