Early 2018 my school principal suggested the school get a support pet for our students. So I visited my local animal shelter and adopted a little ginger cat. My students named him Vincent van Purr as he was going to become the artroom cat.
Three years later Vincent has become an important staff member. He travels to and from work each day with me and spends his work hours in the art room. My students love him, with many coming into my classroom just to say hello to him (and generally ignoring me!). Since having Vincent I have seen changes in my students. They are eager to come to class, with attendance rates and work ethic dramatically improving. Before exams, I get a flux of (stressed) students who simply sit with him and have cuddles and quiet time. Vincent’s had such a positive impact on both my teaching and students’ wellbeing.
He has been an excellent educational tool – students learning what it takes to be a responsible pet owner. Plus he has been a great model for photography students. The Education Department even sent a team out to interview Vincent, with the video being uploaded to the facebook page.
Lynelle’s nominated rescue organisation is the Animal Protection Society.