Especially given the title of this blog, I just have to tell about a panicked phonecall I got this morning. So I was going about my morning school preparations (which today included copying, jamming the copier, unjamming the copier, jamming the copier, and unjamming the copier), when I got a phonecall from one of the first grade teachers downstairs.
"Meg said to call you because you had a class pet that died" he said. Apparently word has spread about my fish-killing incident (still being passed around years later) and I've now become the go-to source for any class pet deaths. Nothing whatsoever qualifies me for this responsibility--I don't like animals, I'm not in any way skilled at disposing of the dead ones, and I find it just as hard as the next guy to break the news of a deceased pet to children. Yet, there I was, giving advice on how to handle his situation.
"Our hamster that we got Friday died over the weekend. It wasn't eating. The whole room smells like dead rat." I reassured Tim that he wasn't the first person to kill a class pet and that he wouldn't be the last, though I didn't offer to come down there to help with the disposal or the smell. I did, though, suggest that he take the cage out and tell the kids that the hamster wasn't eating and wasn't doing well, and then have the rest of the day to think about how to tell them the next day. Maybe even bring in the counselor for reinforcement.
If you know of anyone who kills a class pet in the near future--apparently the thing to do is to send him my way!
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