At the Mastery Charter School which was a new visit for us, Maggie and I met a few middle school students in an Emotional Support classroom.
However before we could get to the correct classroom we had to traverse the long hallway. Word spread quickly that there was a dog in the building and one by one classroom doors popped open and kids started spilling out.
“Can I pet you dog?”
“What kind of dog is it?”
What’s its name?”
were all the questions that were shouted at me as Maggie and I continued on our way. I did stop a couple of times in order to satisfy their curiosity, but I couldn’t stay long as I was expected in room 222.
So what is the purpose of an Emotional Support (ES) classroom and where do Maggie and I fit into this puzzle?
An Emotional Support class is set up to provide both emotional and academic help to those who are unable to be a part of the regular classroom. They are unable to participate because of behavioral, social and/or personal skill impairments.
Maggie and I were there to help boost their behavior skills and at the same time show them the proper way to handle a dog.
The class itself was on the small side with only 5 students in attendance (a few were out sick). The kids were very well behaved and most took an immediate liking to Maggie. As they spent time petting Maggie I filled them in on her usual day, her likes and dislikes and how she came into our family.
Although one of the students professed to being afraid of dogs, by the end of the hour she was on the floor petting Maggie.
Another student was happy to spend most of the time giving Maggie a “belly rub” which is one of her favorite spots to be petted. While spending time with Maggie this student kept repeating “this is so great, just what I needed.” When it was time to leave he asked if he could take Maggie home with him. I looked at him with a smile and said he wasn’t the first person to ask me. When he repeated the question I realized I needed to be more definite so I answered No, I would miss her too much!
As I had never been in an ES classroom before I felt I had learned something that day. Never judge someone by their needs. I was just happy that Maggie and I were able to contribute something positive to their day!