Big Snow and Little Babies-Life

This week has definitely been a long one! Two snow days were sure nice to get homework done. But while I was in Chadron, my heart was at home on the ranch. I was so nice and warm inside while ranchers were outside moving snow, feeding hay, and moving baby calves inside so they could be warm. When I came home Friday, I didn’t hesitate to throw on my muck boots and hat and warm coat. I mean sometimes, I’m not the greatest help, but its the thought that counts, right? For all you ranch kids and wives, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Sometimes, we don’t close the gates right, or say the right things to that gosh darn cow to make her go through that gate.

Little Bill taking a break from his bottle.

Today, I was sitting in the barn trying to get this little calf to drink his bottle. He was a twin that had been pulled earlier this morning, and he was just a little bit smaller than his brother, so he needed some TLC. I decided I’d name this guy Little Bill.  Bill and I spent some quality time together, as I tried every trick in the book to get him to drink the bottle. And I was getting nowhere. Nowhere to the point where he looked at me like, “Lady, I’m not going to drink it, but nice try.” Finally, FINALLY, he began sucking all by himself and drank just a little bit of his bottle. A little is better than none I thought to myself. I gave Little Bill a break and I just sat there with him.

Little Bill’s mom and big brother.

Also in the barn at this time was Little Bill’s mom and brother and two other heifers. One heifer was in the process of having her calf, while the other two were taking care of their babies. This really got me thinking… Everyone deserves a life. Everyone deserves a chance. Positivity. Being able to experience the birth of a calf, and then watching it grow up has got to be one of the coolest experiences yet. Throughout a calf’s life, it experiences so many different things! From hitting the ground (literally), to being branded, to taking that long journey to summer pasture, and at the end of summer, being weaned from mom. They’re very tough animals that give back to us humans in so many ways. As farmers and ranchers, it is our job

Now, how does this transfer to the classroom? I recently started working at a head start. Observing and learning with those children has really influenced me and pushed me to become the best teacher that I possibly can. The first three years of a child’s life are the most important. So why not start out that child’s life with a great influence? Creating a fun, safe learning environment gives the child a positive outlook on school life. If a child has a bad start with school, they tend to develop a negative attitude and do very poorly in school. This is where the drop outs, poor grades, college failures come into play. Just think, if those students would have had a positive start to their education, they probably would be successful in the world.

As a teacher, I am taking this opportunity to provide children with a positive environment so that they learn to love school. You can still have fun and learn lots! I remember these little thoughts that come in and out of my head while spending time outside on the ranch. Sometimes I never realize how much it relates to the classroom, until I really THINK about it.



8 thoughts on “Big Snow and Little Babies-Life

  1. Shontell,
    I love your ILP and the idea behind it. I have always wanted to live the “ranch life” a couple of days. I know that farmers/ranchers work day and night, from sun up to sun down, that’s a trait that I really admire. I love how you tied in your ILP with teaching, I think it’s a fun experience that is totally correlated with the classroom. It obviously takes patience, love, and determination to be the best you can be for the students (and obviously with the animals on the ranch). I admire your hard working skills and your heart to work with ranch animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I related so much to your post. Growing up on a ranch I understand the struggles of getting a calf to take the bottle. I haven’t had to bottle feed a calf in such a long time, since I don’t live at home anymore it is not something I get to do. I didn’t know I would actually miss it. I loved reading your blog, it was such a fun read!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shontell,
    Great post! My grandfather used to have a ranch when I was just a young kid! My brothers and I would go over there many time throughout the summer and help him with whatever needed to be done. Whether it be making hay bails, feeding calves, moving the heard, or even shooting some prairie dogs and filling their holes so that the cattle wouldn’t break their a leg by stepping in them, we were always trying to help! So, I know a little bit of the rancher’s lifestyle and how frustrating and time consuming it can be. Keep up the good work and keep taking care of those babies!


    Liked by 1 person

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