Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There Should Be a Stipend

Here's the thing. Most days I go to work and think, "I can't believe they pay me to do this!"

Because I truly love my job.

But some days are different and I think, "They don't pay me enough to do this!" And today was one of those days. Because today I introduced the crayfish.

The creepy, bottom-dwelling, scary crayfish.

They are the stuff that nightmares are made of. Supposedly they will teach the children about the life cycle and biology. Whatever. I'm petrified of them. I can't get past their beady little eyes and their floppy antennae and those claws that threaten to pinch you in their attack position.

Luckily, one of my students had a pet crayfish because a few years back her older brother won the "Crayfish Lottery"

If the kids bring in a signed permission slip and a tupperware container to bring it home in, they are entered into the crayfish lottery and they have the chance to take home a bottom-feeder of their very own.

Anyhow, she was kind enough to pick them up and put them into their clear, observation containers for me. With great excitement, the kids gathered round their assigned containers and made scientific observations.

I bravely assisted one group in lifting their container so that they could observe the bottom of the critter and determine if it had boy parts or girl parts (as if the experience wasn't fun enough already).

And that's when it lunged at me. It's pincers were opening and closing like the jaws of a rabid Pit Bull. I swear I saw it breathe fire. It tried to eat me.

Last week in Social Studies we talked about the Revolutionary War and learned about "The Shot Heard Round the World."

Today in science they got to hear "The Scream Heard Round the School."

It was a blood-curdling, top-of-my-lungs, horror movie quality scream.

I'm quite certain that several children peed their pants while others clutched their stomaches and rolled on the floor in hysterical laughter.

I really think there should be a stipend in our contract based on the live animals you must encounter at your grade level.

What types of living creatures have you had the pleasure of experiencing in your classrooms?


JJ said...

I feel your pain......even if I do have to say that I had a little chuckle with you not at you of course.
I taught 4th grade and had two hamsters and 1 snake. Needless to say I had a double homicide, because the snake decided to get out of his aquarium. I had the cops come and everything. We eventually found the snake and I got two hamsters to replace the ones eaten as a snack. The snake also went home with its owner after a few more weeks. I've even had an iguana.

JJ said...

I have to say I got a little chuckle as I read. I've had an iguana, 2 hamsters, and a snake when I taught 4th grade. In 4th grade we taught animals. I had the cops come due to a double homicide, yes I have to admit that the snake got out and got the hamsters. It wasn't funny for a while cause we couldn't find the snake for at least 30 minutes.

Kristen said...

oh my! I think I would have done the same! We are working on our ecocolumns. So far, so good. We have cute little snails, pretty little mosquito fish. But the crickets come on Friday and I am LESS than thrilled!!
Ladybug's Teacher Files

amgerberding said...

My first year, I had a student bring in acorns because we were studying trees. I had heard there were worms in some sometimes but I inspected them and they seemed fine. Well... as I start grabbing and giving each student one...a worm popped out at me and I screamed bloody murder and threw it down! The kids were laughing their heads off and a couple teachers stopped by because they thought I saw a snake or a mouse. That was definitely one of the students "favorite" memories for their memory book!

Tanya said...

Ok, so I had crayfish in my classroom for science for the past 5 years. The last two of which were the only years of those 5 that I was brave enough to get close enough to pick one up. They really can pinch, and they really will pinch. If you place something near the pinchers, I used a skinny, wooden coffee stir stick, the cray will pinch that and will be less likely to pinch you! So that was in 2nd grade. This year I was moved to first grade, and now we have hermit crabs. Not as threatening as the crays, but whoa do they smell bad! Love your blog!

First Grade is Fantabulous!

Courtney said...

Yuck! In our second grade, we do ladybugs. They are so easy and non-threatening.

Andrea said...

You must have the same science kit as I do... Needless to say I have not done that unit for the past 2 years. So my first year of teaching. I was brave and kept them in my room. I had a girl who had just moved in from New Orleans and she was the crayfish rangler I didn't touch them at all. My second year my teaching partner got moved to 4th and so when the box came i told my student go get mrs. h. Here she comes with the tongs that we used the previous year to move the crayfish. As she was moving them from the box to their bucket she DROPPED a crayfish on to my FOOT (and I was only wearing flip flops!!! Needless to say I screams shrieked and ran across the room and jumped on the desk... That was my last year with crayfish.... Also my kids laughed at me for the rest of the year.. Oh and our crayfish did not live to go home with students...

Then I had a hedgehog, which was pretty cool until she peed on me.. which was not fun oh and it was parent teacher conference day so here i was in a nice black pants with a tshirt from the closet!!!

~*~Ash~*~ said...

I'm pretty sure you are supposed to boil these guys in a biiiig pot with corn, potatoes, and crab boil... But to each his own. :) I've never heard of using crawfish in the classroom- sounds fun!

This year my biggest adventure was a 2 1/2 inch wolf spider a student brought (with permission) in a glass mason jar. I stuck the document camera down in the jar and magnified him up onto our screen. ...Not a pretty site, but we did get to really observe him up close!
Hatching Rhode Island Red chicks was also an adventure, and probably the singlehanded most memorable event for the students.
Teaching Happily Ever After

elizabeth.parce said...

Oh, my! Sometimes they don't pay us enough! That will be a memory your little ones will remember for a long time! You're lucky someone wasn't taping it or you would probably be on youtube tonight!

Anonymous said...

Sadly no live ones for me (apart from a cat that keeps invading the classroom when our door is open) but I just had to say thank you, I really needed that smile your blog put in my face!

bakingteacher said...

P.S thanks everyone else for your stories too!

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for our 2nd grade teachers, they must cover the life cycle meal worms in their classrooms. You cannot pay me enough to handle those things.

Anonymous said...

Umm Google Bess Beetle...between that and the giant millipedes I am scarred for life :(

Anonymous said...

UGH we do MEALWORMS. Disgusting!!! And they turn into these nasty little beetles. Hate them.