Another (wonderful) teacher stayed with him while I went back to the room to talk to my kids. I told them it was okay to be sad or even cry, but I wanted us to tell some funny or cute stories about Fritzy. Many of my students had taken him home during extended weekends or breaks so they had some good Fritzy stories. We talked about him squeaking during our quietest moments, snagging carrots from our hands, nibbling on little fingers, and even hiding under a student's bed! It was good therapy for all us. Some of my students wanted to know what would happen to Fritzy now and I let them talk to each other about it. I wish I could have recorded their conversations because they were so touching. They comforted each other more than I could have and they even kept telling me that it would be okay. Even though it was a terrible experience, I was able to really see the empathy and love that my students have for each other.
Thanks for hanging with me during that post. I hope I wasn't rambling too much- I just need to get it out.
We'll miss you, Fritzy!
Having a class pet has been a great experience and I plan to do it again in the future. I hope that my students are able to learn and grow from this experience. I am a huge animal lover and I hope that I can pass on that compassion to my students. I encourage any teacher that is interested to check out Pets in the Classroom. We received a classroom pet grant this year which provided me with a cage and some other freebies for Fritzy. (It also includes a coupon for a 1/2 price pet, but we chose to adopt one instead.) We loved our time with Fritzy and I hope you will consider a pet for your classroom.