First and foremost, please forgive Cisco (and me) for being official “slacker bloggers”.  As we have said before, we promise to be better….

IMG_3248The first day of the 2013-2014 school year!

After a fun filled summer that included a trip to Nantucket (more details to follow) Cisco FINALLY got to go back to work.  The end of summer is always a bit bitter-sweet for students and teachers…we are excited to get back to a new school year but can’t help but mourn the loss of the lazy days of summer.  The end of summer was simply SWEET for Cisco because he got to go back to work.  The first morning I put his working bandana on he spun in three big circles, gave me a big smile and RAN to the car.  He was ready to get to it!

His work started immediately!  He spent two days surround by the kids he so loves then he got a few days off as I traveled to Kanauga with the middle school students.  When we returned we found that a new member of the TES community (a 2nd grade student) was super scared of dogs.  After a little recon on my part (and with the blessing of the students parents) Cisco and I went to work!  I placed a life-sized sculpture of Cisco in the classroom for the student to get used to the size of Cisco.  Then Cisco and I came to the classroom to visit.  We intended on quietly slipping in but trying to slip Cisco into a room full of 2nd graders is like trying to slip One Direction into a packed shopping mall!  No matter how sneaky we are, the dog-loving 2nd graders could sense his presence and were like moths to a flame, squealing with unbridled delight that Cisco had come to visit!  Although this visit was a complete distraction to the classroom learning it was essential to the social and emotional learning of the 2nd graders.  The student that was (I use the word “was” loosely as we are still in the midst of helping this student overcome his fear) scared of Cisco waited at a safe distance as the rest of the class mobbed Cisco while he patiently sat and let every child give him love.  As the class ventured back to the reading circle Cisco, myself and one of the classroom teachers went about helping our scared friend.  Cisco was in a “down” position with his back to the student.  After a few minutes the student mustered up the courage to touch his back…with a smile on his face he touched Cisco about 6 more times!!  Anytime Cisco moved the student quickly retreated to his safe distance but made great progress.  We decided that he would come up to the art room early the next day to see Cisco’s crate and have some time to get used to him in our art space.  Cisco stayed in his crate but exited to bid the class farewell.  This time the scared student gave Cisco a pat without the help of one of the adults.

Now, fast forward to friday Community Chapel.  It was our annual “blessing of the backpacks” chapel in which each teacher blessed their students backpacks and tie a beaded tag to remind them of the blessing.  As usual, Cisco was sitting at my feet while 400+ kids roamed around before and after their individual blessing.  As students were blessed they kept finding their way to Cisco as they waited for their peers to be blessed.  I looked up at the throng of Cisco fans and found my scared 2nd grader giving Cisco a pat on the back!!  What a week…from scared, never-going-to-the-art-room to snatching a pat at chapel.  That Cisco has some MAD skill when it comes to convincing someone that he will not hurt them:). And it is only the 2nd week…

IMG_3322 Peace, love, and paw prints,

Jen and Cisco