the students with the goats, photo courtesy of UDN.com…
The power of getting animals to interact with children, an amazing effect, from the Newspapers, translated…
The Middle School in Tainan Kept Goats to Keep the Weeds from Growing Too High, the Students Took Care of the Animals, and the Goats are Allowed in Class to “Accompany” the Students in Their Studies, and the Goats Accompanied the Students During Naptime, Became Friends for Life with Them
There were, less than a hundred students attending the middle school up in the mountains of Tainan, six years ago, the school started keeping goats to keep the grasses down, later on, they’d realized, that the goats don’t eat ALL kinds of weeds, they were originally going to be set loose, but the instructor, Yu-Lun Jiang had, incorporated these goats into the classrooms, with the students in charge of cleaning up and looking after the goat pens, taking care of the goats, from just the two goats before, the number increased to a dozen now, the goats can enter into the classrooms, to “accompany” the students in their studies, and nap with them too, and, the students’ misbehaviors of chewing betel nuts and getting into fights, even dating had, stopped.
Jiang smiled and stated, “Because between the classes, the students are out, chasing the goats”, the goats changed the students as well as the teachers in this school in the mountains, and Jiang was selected as one of the ten great teachers who “affect the student for life”, he’d shared the experience of watching the students interact with their goats to the rest of the university teaching centers.
He said, putting the students in charge of the goats, the goats turned into the students’ friends for life, after a few years, the rebellious, the misbehaviors, all gone, that, was what he’d not expected to see happen, when he’d started raising the goats.
The first lamb that’s named after a student, “Gentle”, was a premature, and left by her mother, she was named after the Presidential Education Award Recipient, “Yi-Rou Lin”, to encourage her, that the “trials you’re facing right now, are no big deal”. Yi-Rou Lin said, that “Rou-Rou the lamb was bred from close relatives, and wouldn’t live long, and hoped that it can be like her, “Work hard, to live on!”
In order to get the lambs named after them, the students competed in scholastic performances, the newborn lamb “Gan-Gan” was named after the student, Jien-Gan Lee, who would head into the schools on the weekends, to clean up the goat house, and it’d earned the accolades of his fellow classmates.
The students walked through the life cycle of the goats, from birth to death, as the lambs were born, the school hosted a “Month-Old Celebration”, and for the lunches provided by the school, sticky rice was served, the students made the red eggs; after the mother goat, Shan-Shan died of toxemia, the premature lamb, Ann was killed by stray dogs, the school had a funeral for them too. Yi-Rou Lin said, “the lambs gave us a lot of stories, it’d changed us, for the better.”
This, is a great way, to incorporate real-life into the classroom settings, the instructor used the help from the animals, to get the students to motivate themselves to be better, to change their own misbehaviors, and it’d worked, because the children are no longer just, concerned about just themselves, they have living beings (the lambs and the goat???) to look after, it gives them a new sense of purpose, keep them from acting up.