Monday, October 15, 2007

If I Ran The Zoo...

Oh wait, I do.
When Dr. Seuss wrote If I Ran the Zoo, I bet he didn't know that my little classroom in the Bronx would one day be home to 100 crickets, 8 anoles, 30 earthworms, 1 grasshopper, a beta fish, 9 children, a wonderful long term substitute para (mine is gone on sick leave until who knows when), and me, the teacher now known around the building as zookeeper.
My kids are SO invested in their new science curriculum that they check on their mini ecosystems (containing crickets, anoles, and earthworms) multiple times daily. Our grasshopper, brought in by a student who thought it was a cricket, is still alive and well nearly a month after it was brought in. We've discovered that it likes not only grass, but grapes and apples, too.
Upon hearing about our pet grasshopper, a parent of one of my students went out and bought us a proper class pet - a bright red beta fish, who completed our little zoo. I'd have never thought that caring for animals would be such a uniting experience for 12 and 13 year old kids who, on the outside, act so tough....
There's only so much the street can take away and to see my kids huddled over a grasshopper they've named and nurtured over a month makes me realize, even if only for a little while, that they are, like their peers across the country....just kids who deserve a chance to make something of themselves.


rabi said...

hee, that's so awesome! I love anoles.

Berne said...


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