Thursday, May 20, 2010

Smart Student

As the school year winds down, most of my students have disengaged their minds. One bright student is the exception. This student is actively soaking up the world around him, and as a result has learned a few useful things over the past couple weeks. You guessed it; the student is Kyle.

(Kyle is lying on his back in the middle of my classroom.)

Kyle has figured out that he is irresistible to students. Everyone wants to play with the cute puppy. When I mentioned bringing a dog to school a couple months ago, some students professed a dislike for K9s. Even those kids pat Kyle on the head as they walk by.

For the sake of Kyle's training, I've instituted a strict don't pet the guide dog without permission rule. Also, if Kyle tries to lick students, they know they have to back away immediately.

Kyle learned that his puppy dog eyes won't work on students anymore even if he doesn't understand the rules. Today he figured out a new trick. During class he kept rolling over on his back with his feet straight in the air.

(Kyle is lying on his back and looking straight up. His ears look like rabbit ears as a result.)

Kyle's new position elicited a new round of pleas from my students. Bryce* especially took up the roll of Kyle's voice. He adamantly declared, "Miss, he really wants his belly scratched." Bryce has a terrible time focusing in class, so I used Kyle as a bribe. When Bryce finished his work, Kyle got his belly scratched.

(Both Kyle and Bryce enjoyed the reward for the Bryce's hard work.)

Other students stop in every day at lunch or after school to play with Kyle. Like any school aged kid, Kyle now enjoys these times way more than the rest of the school day. My students are learning appropriate guide dog play and basic training.

Amy* has gotten especially good at working with Kyle. I still cannot get him to stop liking me, but he doesn't lick Amy any more. Kyle knows that she is a great playmate, and he must not want her to move away and leave him alone.

(Kyle is happily chewing on his goughnut while Amy sits on the floor and holds it for him.)

Kyle actually loves to sit on the lap of Amy and the other students that come into my classroom after school. Lucky for him, most of them like to cuddle puppies. I love that the lunch and after school kids play with Kyle because I worry about his only human interaction coming from me. They help socialize him while I get a break to work on my end of the school day chores. It is a win-win situation for everyone students, me, and especially Kyle.

(Kyle is half lying on Amy's lap. She is holding his nylabone while he chews on it. Not pictured are the other students sitting in a circle who are taking turns holding the bone and cuddling Kyle.)

*Any student names I ever post will be changed to protect my students' identities. I just hate telling stories with all pronouns. That's the English teacher in me.


  1. He is one smart little guy! My puppy that went in for training last month, use to love laying on his back during my college classes. Kyle is quite the cutie!

  2. Lucky guy! Lucky kids! Lucky teacher!