You’re my best friend
I can relate to the children who struggle with school. I loved art, english, writing, and music, but math was a challenge for me. I clearly remember an altercation that occurred one day in school; all the other children were sent out to play after lunch. I was asked to stay behind by the teacher – Mrs. B. To make matters worse, the teacher’s pet Tracy was also asked to remain in the room. Mrs. B. then proceeded to point out errors I had made on a recent math test.
Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to correct my mistakes, I felt as if I was under attack, and the two of them were ganging up on me. I tried to stand up for myself in one instance where my continental ‘7′ was mistaken for a ‘9.’ The answer was correct, but it did not matter. I can still see the sneer on Mrs. B’s face as she turned and asked Tracy’s opinion; did Tracy believe the number was, in fact, a seven? Of course not – teacher’s pet!
I felt humiliated and incredibly angry. There were other 7’s on the page to refer to. It was obvious to me that the number was, in fact, a ‘7.’
My parents hired a tutor to help me learn my numbers and would give me math books as birthday and Christmas presents. These were not appreciated and remained unread. I wonder where those books ended up.
Library Dogs are near and dear to my heart. Tails are Wagging would like to become involved with and support such programs. I have Mentioned Therapy Dog Training with Henry’s trainer and hope to get him into the program. I also look forward to meeting with the Ontario Provincial Therapy Dog Coordinator, with St. John Ambulance to discuss the ‘Paws 4 Stories’ component of their program. I hope our book ‘Henry says, “Hello” can help raise funds for this program.
It’s too bad there aren’t therapy dogs for math. I would have loved a little ‘Einstein’ buddy. As someone who struggled as a child, and understands the frustration and emotional turmoil of such struggles, I was thrilled to learn about Paws 4 Stories. This program provides children with a non-hostile learning environment and non-judgmental, patient reading companions. Therapy Dogs will sit and listen to a child as they read the same sentence over, and over until they get it right. Instead of feeling stupid, ashamed and discouraged, children receive the support they need to become confident readers.
Check back later for more information about this program.
Henry meditates: he cuddles with his stuffed toy and exudes complete calm. Sometimes I will sit with him and before long, I too feel completely at peace. This illustration is particularly special to me: I look at this illustration and recognize the feeling of peace that Henry shares with others and the importance of encouraging children to read.
The tales on the bookshelf also have special meaning (more about these later)…