Monday, January 28, 2008

How to care for your pet.

Years ago...in my former life...I taught kindergarten. I taught in a small school district where I was the only kindergarten teacher. I had no curriculum so I had to really rely on all those teacher training classes I took in college! Each week I chose a theme and then planned all of the lessons that week accordingly. One week we would study apples. The math lesson might be about whole and halves. The science lesson about seeds. The letter of the week would be an A. You get the idea.

Well, one week we were studying pets. One day that week for our science/social studies lesson I brought in a bag filled with all kinds of things you would use to take care of a pet. Bowls for food and water. Brushes to comb their hair. Shampoo to give them baths. A collar and leash to use on walks. A baggie of catnip to keep them happy, etc. As I held up each of the different items I would ask the kids if they knew what it was. Most of the time they had no trouble telling me what the item was and what it was used for. They did have trouble telling me what the nail clippers were, but most of them had probably never seen a dog or a cat gets it's toenails clipped. After going through all the other items in my pet care bag I held up the baggie of catnip and asked what they thought it was. One little boy without hesitation and without raising his hand called out "weed". I just about died. I stammered all over myself trying to figure out what to say to that. I honestly don't remember what I said. I'm sure it was something wise and educational though! I just couldn't believe that he knew what weed was. He certainly couldn't have known it was illegal or else he surely wouldn't have been so quick to speak up. And now he thinks his teacher brought marijuana to school. Oh my. I talked to my principal later that day so that if she got any phone calls about the teacher who brought drugs to school she would know how to handle them. And the next year I didn't include catnip in my bag of tricks!

And now a question. How do you explain catnip to a 6 year old who knows what weed is? Basically catnip is weed for cats. Here is what Wikipedia says about it...

When cats sense the bruised leaves or stems of catnip, they may roll over it, paw at it, chew it, lick it, leap about and purr, often salivating copiously. Some cats will also growl and meow.

Yeah...it's pretty much drugs for cats.


fringes said...

I'd always wondered what catnip was. Thanks for the education.

The first time I ever saw marijuana and other drugs was in a school presentation in ninth grade. "Don't do this stuff" was the basic theme. Thanks to a 30-minute high school seminar, I never did.

Kerri said...

and how would YOU know what one does in response to marijuana, mrs. natalie?

kidding. kidding.

say no to drugs, kids.

Gina said...

Geesh...I'm glad you didn't bring in powdered sugar!! But sad just the same the kid thought it was a drug. Bet the conversation on the playground was interesting that day!!!

Natalie said...

well i am just guessing of course. i think that if i were to use drugs...not that i am planning to do that by any means...but that if i did i might actually roll over it, paw at it, chew it, lick it, leap about and purr. i do draw the line at salivating copiously though. i wouldn't want to make a fool of myself.