I am a miniature labradoodle who lives with Mr Canning, and am Air Class’s pet dog. Everyone loves me, especially the children (I’m adorable, apparently), and I am very happy to be a member of our school.
I joined Air Class in April 2012, when I was just 9 weeks old. Back then I used to play in my puppy crate a lot, but I’m a bit more grown up now, so I don’t have that anymore, and I only go in my crate when I want a snooze or if the children have some food out.
Every day is really exciting. When I hear the bell ring I know the children are coming in; that’s my favourite time, and I can’t help but wag and wiggle constantly as they walk into the classroom.
I have a very busy day. I watch the children working, play with my toys, and sometimes listen to children read, though I have been known to sneak in a quick nap every now and again as well. We play a lot too: I go out at playtimes (I love to run around and play fetch on our big field) and play with the children in the Spinney every week.
Sometimes the children learn about me and all sorts of other animals, and how to care for us and our environment. The children look after me really well: they weigh out my breakfast every morning, help to train me, play games with me, and give me treats when I’m good. This helps them too, to learn to look after each other and to be good friends and responsible children.
Having me in the classroom helps the children to work better. I help them to be calm and to concentrate (I love to go and lie down next to the children when they’re working really hard). I make them happy, enthusiastic and motivated. When children read to me, I’m an awesome listener: I don’t judge them, correct them or put my paw on the page pointing at words, I just lie there and enjoy the story. This seems to help them to relax, enjoy reading, and become more confident. Sometimes I can help children who find it difficult to communicate with others: they can talk as much or as little as they want, I’ll always just sit there and listen, and they don’t have to try and understand what I’m thinking or saying.
I’m a great friend as well. If ever any of the children is upset about something, especially if they’ve fallen over and hurt themselves, I’m always there to help them feel better. Once one of the grown-ups has sorted out any of that medical stuff, then a nice cuddle from me and they feel much, much happier.
It turns out that I help the children in all sorts of different ways with their school work. The children in my class are only little, and it really helps sometimes when they are doing art, science, D&T, maths, reading, writing, PE, PSHE, RE, geography and even history, ICT and music, to have me there. Apparently I can help give an alternative context to the work that they’re doing, which little children find really helpful, and because the children are so used to me, it’s much easier for them to relate to me than to pictures in books, or videos on a screen.
Overall, I would say that I’m amazing! Just to make sure, I asked the children what they think about me.
They also wrote some stories and made me one of the main characters!
Finally, here are some lovely photographs!