Sunday, September 23, 2012

Reflection on Dogs as Therapy

I have just discovered the amazing, inspiring teacher's blog by Kate Baker in New Jersey.

This particular post - screen shot above - certainly sets the thoughts flying.

Would it be possible to use dogs as therapy in schools?
- for students with all manner of social difficulties
- for students in personal crisis
- for teachers needing a touching moment and and a "slow down" from insanity.

I see so many advantages in using dogs as therapy in schools - easing troubled spirits and connecting where no words can really go.
But on the practical side, should there be one or more dogs?
Teacher owner dogs?
What if - dog turns for some reason. School liable?
Is the risk minimal?
The advantages of a dog's presence far outweigh any disadvantages?

I remember many many years ago, my sport teacher brought Banjo the corgi to school.
The main reason Banjo was there was because he loathed being home alone 5 days a week.
So when the sport teacher had all day sport lessons - often twice a week - Banjo was out there offering support.
He loved basketball, and soon learnt to be a team player.
He loved encouraging the runners- cheerfully bolting along beside them.
Students loved to try to beat Banjo.
Even the non sporty students enjoyed getting out there and playing when Banjo was around.
And Banjo was one happy guy!

To teach is to keep learning

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