Cats in the Classroom

In addition to being pets and friends, cats can also act as valuable teaching tools. CAT FANCY explores the enrichment cats add to learning for children. As second grade teacher Mary Williams explains, I find the kids are willing to do things for the cats that they don't really want to do for me.

By Hilary Parker

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Mary Williams teaches second grade at Dayspring Christian Academy in South Attleboro, Mass., but its her three Scottish Folds Wally, DK and Mikey who run the show.

They each have a subject that they're in charge of, she says, explaining that though the cats only physically visit her classroom twice a year, they've captured the hearts and minds of her students daily.

It all started about five years ago, when Williams spontaneously told the class that DK would be teaching phonics on the first day of school. Now, before each subject begins, she places a framed photo of the appropriate cat teacher front-and-center and pretends it is telling her and the class what to do.

I make the cats a little bit quirky and a little bit goofy, she says. I find the kids are willing to do things for the cats that they don't really want to do for me. Now, each cat has an email address and former students frequently stay in touch, she says.

While Wally, DK and Mikey each teach specific subjects, Williams also uses anecdotes and stories to provide humane education and compassion training to her students.

**For the full article, pick up the September issue of CAT FANCY**

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Reader Comments

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

6/9/2013 9:19:10 AM

thanks

Janice    Wayne, NJ

7/5/2010 8:11:37 AM

As both a teacher and devoted cat lover, I was moved to tears by Mary Williams' brilliantly sensitive article in which she described how her beloved DK is, also, a teaching tool. I plan, to the best of my ability, to incorporate some of her insights into my own teaching.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my feelings...
Kind Regards,

Janice Cori Cobb

Lyddia    Everstown, ID

12/26/2008 10:31:25 PM

Sounds fun. We have some difficulty with student motivation in the school where I work. Sometimes candy is used to bribe them into finishing their math papers. I wonder if that cat method would work.

CF    PC, FL

3/13/2007 6:05:29 PM

Great way to improve education!

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