By Lisa Klink, Wayne Education Association
For the past eight years, I have been a special education teacher at Schuyler-Colfax Middle School in Wayne, New Jersey. Thor is my lovable, two year-old German Shepherd who is a certified therapy dog through Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs.
Thor accompanies me to my science classes about one day per week to provide comfort, happiness, and laughter to the staff and students I work with.
During a typical class period, Thor can be found being pet by students during the beginning of class and resting for the remainder of class by my side as I teach. Our students love that they can destress with some dog therapy!
Since we have transitioned to distance learning, many of my students reached out to me to tell me that they are feeling stressed and miss seeing Thor. Upon listening to their concerns, I wanted to make sure they still had the opportunity to receive therapy from Thor.
In late March, I opened a Google Classroom called “Virtual Dog Therapy with Thor” and invited all of our school’s students and staff.
In our Google Classroom, I post as if I were Thor talking. I include daily photos or videos to make the students feel happy and give them a smile to their day.
This week, our school is participating in a virtual spirit week. Thor has had fun dressing up for ‘Dress up Monday’ or ‘Wacky Wednesday’ with some fun attire!
It truly is a pleasure to meet the social and emotional needs of our students through this fun online venture!
Lisa Klink is a special education teacher at Schuyler-Colfax Middle School in Wayne, NJ.