A tadpole named Dog

Today was the first day back at school after Christmas break. Needless to say, the kids were a little wild. My theory is that their parents are not only happy to be able to ditch them for 8 hours, they’re also so fed up with them that they want others to be able to truly experience the horror that IS their child. So of course they load their kids chock full of sweets and send them into school to me.

Just what I always wanted. Sixteen hyper, spoilt children, fresh off Christmas break.

Did I tell you about the tadpole one of the parents donated as our class pet? Probably not. One of the parents brought it in, in a cute little fish tank. It’s meant to grow into a tree frog. (I forgot it alone in the frozen school over break and was sure it had died, but he’s alive and swishing.) Anyway, we never got around to naming it before break, at least nothing the whole class agreed upon.

So today, as the kids are refusing to do work and be quiet in their seats, and are instead chattering away about what they want the tadpole to be called, I was forced to make a snap decision. Okay, second grade… if you cannot be quiet while we finish this assignment, then I’m going to name the tadpole ‘Dog’. There was a moment of confused and accidental silence as they let this information sink in. It didn’t last long. A half second later a chorus of NOOOOOOO!!!! You can’t do that!!! It’s gonna be a frog, you can’t call it DOG! Why would you do that?! This was when I knew I’d got them. After hushing them once again, I quickly explained that if they were good and quiet we could come up with a name together and the class could vote on it. But if they talked again or got loud during the spelling assignment, that no matter what, the little tadpole, and eventually frog, would then and always be called… Dog.

These are the split second moments that make teaching just humorous enough to survive it.

They weren’t quiet. The tadpole’s name is Dog. Forever and always.

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