Sunday, April 13, 2008

Crazy Stupid, St. Bernard & Jack

My life hovers somewhere between crazy and stupid, and quite frankly, I’m not sure which wins in the worse category–the crazy or the stupid. Perhaps for T.S.Eliot, April may have been the cruellest month, but for me, let’s just call it crazy stupid. (Less poetic I know, but true.)

I had written a bunch--OK, so maybe not a bunch…perhaps one or two–very clever posts in my head, but promptly forgot them. You see, I was unable to access my blog and not because of the Information Superhighway Gatekeepers Bess and her sidekick St. Bernard. Nope. It was German Shepherd Jack (notice the lack of “saint” in front of his name).

You see, Jack, my 90-plus pound, 1-year-old shepherd apparently decided he could provide a better filter for our Internet connection by just eliminating it.

Now, I’m sure you’re pondering what, if anything, this has to do with education. Well, I had a lot of time to think since I was unable to access the internet (not necessarily a good thing--the thinking that is). Any way, Jack’s appalling behavior provided an interesting comparison between his lapse in training and my students. Now, pah-leese before you sick the PETA people on me for comparing animals to humans, just bear with me.

A few weeks ago, Jack decided he didn’t want to come in when called. Instead, he decided he preferred to stand just out of reach by the door. He also decided that he preferred to mock his humans by peering around the corner in hopes of a rousing game of chase. When we didn’t succumb and left him outside unattended, Jack decided to disconnect the internet connection.

I spent quite a bit of time talking to my dog training instructor and my dog expert sister, Maggie Bonham. My dog trainer–not unlike our student’s parents–asked me, “What did you do to him?”

After much analysis, we decided that Jack trained us to respond to his behavior instead of him responding to us. So now we have to unlearn this dance we’ve created.

Of course, all this got me thinking about my classroom and the classrooms of my peers, and I thought that perhaps sometimes when things aren’t working–maybe, just maybe–we should re-examine who has trained whom.

Just a thought.

Meanwhile, my husband thinks next time I should just buy a shock collar. I’m not sure if he meant for Jack or the kids.


Anonymous said...

I do believe that your husband and mine would get along quite well. I have to say I missed having time to talk with you Saturday. KG

Anonymous said...

It looks like Jack had a fine time for himself outside. I sometimes have to reevaluate my behavior when I find myself responding to my grandsons. Then, I ask myself who is really in charge. I was the same as a teacher. Sometimes I didn't even know when the roles reversed. Thanks for the laugh today.

Mister Teacher said...

Wow, it's amazing how much your dog Jack sounds like my new student Lump...