Last week a coworker asked me to watch her class crabs for one day. She was going to be absent and worried about the safety of the pets while she was away. I figured one day wouldn't be so bad, it would be manageable for me and exciting for my students, especially since we had just finished our unit on things that grow. A quick trip to the local library supplied me with some age appropriate books on those friendly little crustaceans. The are kids are excited and look through the books, trying to find a match for the specific species we are babysitting. They are thirsty for information and together we went about gathering facts and making observations.
I was ready to give them back and the kids understood that the crabs were "just visiting" our class. One full week later, the teacher is back from her absence, and has been back now for several days. She does not want them back. Lucky me. I just wish she was honest and had said something like " oh the science department gave me sand crabs and I really don't want them, are you interested?" So a bit frustrated, I set out to find the science teacher, who was nice enough to tell me that I had been duped. He reluctantly came in and shared some crab food, knowledge, and salt water with us.
The crabs, in case any of you wanted to know, with one large pincer and one small one are the males. The ones with two small pincers are the females.
Oh yes, and then there is the humor in the situation. Some of my students enjoy higher end cuisine like lobsters, and knew that crabs could be eaten. Many other students were excited about most about this fact and proceeded to sit in front of the crab tank staring at the crabs, and salivating slightly while they rubbed their stomachs and thought about a really interesting school lunch. I insisted that the animal were pets and therefore, definitely NOT food. "uh yes, hi Mr. So and So, your daughter ate one of classroom pets and I think she needs to go home" is not a phone call I want to make.
So with 11 days left in the school year, I am hoping to find a family in my class who wants to adopt them. Else wise my last day of school plans will involve a trip to the beach.