Educators solving problems with a 'cowboy solution'

By Reid Kerr - email 
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - The Tyler Saddle Club Arena seems like the last place for an English teacher to learn to handle their students, but Whitehouse High School brought two buses full of teachers out to learn to manage their herd.

"I did not consider that concept at all," first-year Physics teacher Ashley Ochs laughed. "This is definitely something different."

Former teacher Don Hutson's program starts with communication. If you can lead a horse, you can lead a classroom.

"If you can communicate with this horse and get it to do what you want it to," Hutson said, "on the basis of what it wants, rather than what you want, you can use those same techniques in the classroom."

The teachers got to see the tenets of education played out on the rodeo grounds, and learned how to communicate, even when their student doesn't understand a word.

"A lot of my class is going to be hard to understand for kids who've never studied physics," Ochs said. "I'm going to need to break it down to their level."

The four-hooved students made for a new challenge on the eve of the new school year.

"Coming to something out of our comfort zone and away from the school and having an experience like this really helps us bring us together and get us focused for the school year," Ochs said.

You can lead them to water, sure, but the teachers of Whitehouse learned to make them think.

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