“Do you want to say hello to the dog?” I asked the bubbly, gap toothed, eight year old girl who was peering at me through my computer. In my online teaching classroom (which is really just a corner of my small apartment) my students’ favorite moments is when I bring my dog, Ollie, into the classroom.
Ollie, who was sleeping on the couch across from my desk set up, lifted his head. At the mention of dog his ears perked in interest. Since I give Ollie a treat after every appearance in the classroom, he is usually pretty eager too.
“You have to call for him,” I reminded Faye, “Let’s say come here Ollie!”
Faye grinned, shouting “COME HERE OLLIE” into her microphone. Below camera I held onto Ollie’s treat bag, and gave it a shake.
Ollie stretched, hopped off of the couch, and trotted over to my desk, where I scooped him up and held him to the computer screen.
After a brief conversation between Faye and “Ollie” it was time to end class. I said goodbye to Faye, turned off the camera, and gave Ollie his well earned treat.
A few days later I was once again sitting in front of my computer teaching, while Ollie snoozed on the couch. My student was working on the “short o” sound, and soon we reached our phonics reader. The story was called “Bog the Hog.”
“Bog the Hog,” I read. Of course to Ollie this sounded like Dog the dog.
The next page read: “Bog sees a log.” Ollie lifted his head, listening intently.
Then: “Bog is on the log.” Ollie sat up, quivering a little, fully attentive.
I fought to keep a straight face, essentially I was being the biggest to Ollie imaginable.