Monday, August 16, 2010

Why So Glum, Chum?

Oh c'mon, Spot. I know it's been a long summer. I know you're tired of sitting around all day waiting for your dinner bowl to arrive. I get it. I'm tired of delivering those dinners here at home.

Here's some good news! I went into school today...yes, SCHOOL! Last week, I didn't want to hear that word, but today? Well, I almost skipped up the sidewalk. I, like you, love to see my friends. I knew we weren't going to get too serious. I mean, honestly, I'm still sporting my summer tan! The sounds of the ocean are still playing in my ears., Spot! (No, I don't really know what that means!) We started talking about behavioral interventions. We talked about how to praise all the good doggy behavior and consequence the bad doggie behavior. Next thing you know, the conversation took a very different shift.

We started to talk about Responsive Classroom. RC is a model that builds positive interactions among students, immersing kids in conversations and fostering strong social skills. It takes huge amounts of time, but our elementary schools are up to that task. There are meetings and games and all sorts of great activities. BUT. We still need to have an umbrella system in place that covers it acceptance with a system that clearly defines expectations too.

So, today, we nipped and snarled and agreed to disagree. We continued to have polite, but heartfelt conversations delineating what it is we really believe. And in the end? We grew closer as a team, because we all listened and kept what's right for kids (and doggies) in the center of it all. We rolled up our sleeves and lined up our beginning of the year launch.

And you know what, Spot. You are one lucky puppy, because teachers care very deeply about what they do. We're going to keep you protected and help you get started in the friend department next year. So, don't look so glum! We're in there fighting over you, boy! And in a few short days, you'll be right there at our side!

A few homework suggestions (if you must!): Climb a tree, chase a squirrel and take a long nap in the sun.

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