Diane Hill teaches second grade at Northern Hills Elementary School in Onalaska, Wisconsin. She’s been a teacher for 21 years, but she’s recently decided to try something new in the classroom.
Hill wanted to bring her puppy, Davie, to school to help her students experiencing anxiety and first-day jitters. Davie is a four-year-old Golden Retriever. She is a trained therapy dog who knows how to help humans in difficult situations, particularly children.
Davie appeared at ease with her new position immediately, and the kids were happy to have her around. Many of the pupils stated that simply seeing her made them feel good. Students who are frightened or stressed during class may pet Davie to help them calm.
Davie’s duties in the classroom include greeting kids in the morning, interacting with them during storytime, and even offering a healthy respite from their work. The kids enjoy caressing her and paying attention to her throughout the day. These small encounters with Davie will undoubtedly brighten each child’s mood.
Davie not only consoles the children, but she also teaches them life skills like empathy. She has also clearly gone above and beyond her teaching duties.
Skylar Davis, a second-grader, tells how Davie overheard a child screaming through the classroom door. She went up to the concerned student and reassured him, ending the sobbing almost immediately.
Davie will teach the pupils a wide range of practical life skills. She not only helps them be calmer at school, but she also helps them implement what they have actually learned outside of the classroom and into their daily life.
Davie demonstrates how service dogs can help students communicate effectively. Because most children love animals, having a dog to comfort them will teach them a lot.
There is also a service dog at Onalaska High School that interacts with students of all ages. Davie’s older sister, Harley, is also a model. Harley is also a therapy dog who makes regular trips to a nearby nursing home.
Dogs are significantly more than just family members’ devoted companions. Anyone who has the opportunity to interact with a service dog will not be disappointed. More schools should introduce assistance dogs into the classroom to make students feel as comfortable as possible.
All photos courtesy of wxow.com