Friday, December 9, 2011

Meet Fizz - Hamster to the Rescue!

Meet Fizz! Fizz is a (very) fluffy teddy bear hamster. 

Hi Everybody! It's Molly from Classroom Confetti. I'm so excited to be a part of Erica's new blog dedicated to our classroom critters! This is something that is close to my heart and I'm excited to celebrate animals right along with teaching!

I've recently inherited Fizz, the teddy bear hamster, due to neglect. A fellow student teacher knew about my love for animals and contacted me a few weeks ago because the K5 class she is in had Fizz and the teachers were threatening to" just stop feeding him" because he made too big of mess in the classroom. She told me that the teachers inherited Fizz at the end of last year and did not want him. She said the teachers never referenced him to the kids and wanted nothing to do with a pet in their classroom. At first my friend thought surely not feeding him was a joke but then observed over the next few days that the teacher and her assistant were indeed, not feeding sweet Fizz. (Can you believe that?! Makes me sad that this person is even teaching, but moving on...) She offered to find Fizz a home and the teachers were obviously very open to this idea. So she called me in a panic and I took him. However, my friend that is still in the class said that the students were devastated. As you can imagine, they were asking non stop about where the hamster went, if hes okay, etc. They felt like a member of their classroom family had disappeared and it seemed in their little minds that something terrible must have happened to him. Thankfully, my friend was able to explain to them that the hamster moved somewhere that was easier on him since he was a little bit older. She beautifully turned the yuck situation into something that showed the little ones about treating animals with compassion.
So, on a much happier note, I took the hamster into my class and we have all fallen in love with the little guy, so the story has a very happy ending! My students are learning responsibility, gentleness and appropriate ways to handle small animals. I even see children who didn't normally interact much with one another bonding over the hamster. (Love that!) The story does have a very sweet ending: The little guy was able to teach two different groups of children about treating animals with compassion. The Kinder's are happy that the hamster is safe, and my group is thrilled and think they are super animal saving heroes.  :)

I tell you this story to tell you that issues such as neglect from the Kindergarten teacher are reasons why animal rights groups do not advocate animals in the classroom. This blog is celebrating the oodles of positives that a class pet can bring to a classroom. We know the good that class pets can bring, and it is incredibly sad that animal rights groups don't advocate animals in the classroom for fear that they are not properly taken care of and treated with respect.  As we all know, when it comes down to it, the animal belongs to the teacher and the teacher is responsible for primary care. We as teachers are also responsible for teaching little ones the proper ways to care for and respect animals. (What a fantastic way to put an end to the trend of animal cruelty in our country!) That being said, if you come across an abusive situation as I did, it is our job as animal advocates and concerned citizens to give a voice to these precious creatures who cannot speak for themselves.

Some ways that you can intervene in a neglect/abusive situation like this in a school:
1. Offer to take the pet out of the situation.  If you cannot care for it yourself, contact a local rescue group that will gladly accept the pet. (See below)
2.  If the teacher refuses to relinquish the pet, contact the principal with documented and/or specific issues.
3.  If these steps fail, contact your local animal rescue organization and they will take proper steps to ensure the animal is rescued and safe.

Some rescue organizations that will benefit you in rescuing a classroom pet:

Small Angels Rescue This site specializes in small, classroom pet, types of animals. This site gives you contact information to their staff that can aid you in your rescue. If you are fostering a pet, this site also gives you great re-homing information and resources.
National Humane Society This link gives you resources and names of rescue organizations by state.

What a great opportunity we have as teachers to teach our students about compassion through properly caring for, and respecting animals. They bring such joy to our classrooms, lives, and the world!

Next time, I'll introduce the other fun critter living in our classroom!
Goodbye from Fizz! (who likes to run on top of his wheel instead of inside it!?)
 



4 comments:

  1. Fizz is an adorable little guy! Thank you for sharing. That teacher must be a horrible person, to stand by and neglect an innocent creature. I feel for the students in her classroom.

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  2. what a sad story with a great happy ending! Cannot believe some people!!!!! Enjoy Fizz!

    Happy Holidays!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

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  3. How sad that the teacher would let that little cutie die from neglect in front of her kids. Thank you for rescuing Fizz. He is so adorable. Kids need to be taught (at school and home) how to take care of pets.
    2B Honey Bunch

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  4. I'm glad Fizz is lovingly cared for now! Poor little guy!
    Lindsay
    creaturecation.blogspot.com

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