Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why Wolves? Funny You Should Ask....

The first thing you might be wondering is why the wolves?  Well, five years ago I decided that I wanted a class mascot.  So, since animals are the typical choice I tried to think of a good W animal.  I'll pause to see how many you can think of on your own....done?  How many did you get?  If you're coming up short, don't feel bad.  I couldn't think of many either, but there are actually quite a few.  Don't believe me...check it out here.  Anywho...walrus, wildebeest, and weasel just weren't working for me.  Then I came upon the wolf.  Hmmm...that could work I thought. 

So, I dug a little deeper and read up on our furry wild neighbors.  I found out that they actually possess many characteristics that are PERFECT for a classroom analogy.  For example, when they have an important job to do, like hunt for their next big meal, they work together.  They work as a pack, or the hunt probably won't be successful.  Nothing says classroom climate like I right?  They also take care of the other members of their pack.  When there is danger, they howl.  We call that communicating here in the wolf den.  When we need help, are worried about our classmates, or just need to tell each other something, we need to communicate with one another.  Wolves also adopt pack members when there is a stray without one.  This is my analogy for those sweet little firsties who move in the middle of the year.  They are currently without a pack, and we welcome them with open arms.  Lastly, wolves have an alpha.  (Typically the alpha is male, but not always. ;))  Of course each classroom teacher is the alpha in their room, and the kids really understand the correlation.  I am the leader.  It is my job to make sure the pack is safe and getting what they need, and it is their job to follow my lead.  That is how we will be successful. 

Now, when I became the wolves I taught 5th grade.  They were awesome  too, because on the first day of school each year their first assignment was to read about wolves in small groups.  Then they would work in that group to list characteristics that wolves had that were things important for the classroom.  They came up with the full list.  Every.Single.Time.  Now that I am in first, we watch a short video on wolves and read a book, and then I help point out the reasons why we are the wolves.  The firsties get the lesson just as well.  My best example to prove this came just yesterday.  I was explaining to the kids that our student teacher was coming by to meet them before she starts next week.  One of my sweet girls raised her hand, and said, "We are going to have two alphas."  (heart melted)  All I could do was laugh and say, "Yes, we are!  You are exactly right!"

If you have a last name that starts with W, and you are looking for a mascot for your classroom, you know what you can do!  (Also, I can't forget to mention that it's fun to howl together as a class at awards assemblies and field day.  The kids love it as much as I do!)

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