Our Surprise Class Pet

#sol22- April 5

If you look very closely you can see them.

I live in the tropics, so it shouldn’t surprise me, but it still does, when I see a gecko. Monday morning when I got to school I washed my hands and there on the windowsill was a gecko. It didn’t skitter away while I scrubbed, so I kind of assumed it might have been the same one we saw on Friday up by one of the air conditioner vents. It stayed there all day so the kids decided it might be dead. Probably this was the same one and now it had fallen and was truly dead.

I went about my business for a while and decided I would be brave enough to scoop up the dead gecko with some tissues and throw it out the window before the students came in. I got a healthy stack of tissues and went in for the grab… and it moved. Not in a typical energetic dash, but it definitely moved away from where it was. Maybe it had been inside on Saturday when they spray whatever the “Covid won’t grow on the surfaces for 7 days spray” they spray each weekend and it was debilitated?

When the students came in later I told them of my gecko sighting and adventure and throughout the day we spied on it, staying right near a glass jar holding a plant cutting. To my surprise Tuesday morning I saw it again and so did many interested fifth graders.

“We’ve got to name it!” they said.

“Is it a boy or a girl?” they asked.

“I don’t know how to tell- we can use a gender-neutral name,” I suggested.

L quickly grabbed a plastic bowl and said, “We can put our ideas in here.”

“Great idea,” I said, “Put any suggestions in before library and we will vote before recess.”

I assumed we would get a few names.

Imagine my surprise when I went to the bowl later- many scraps of paper were there. While there were many creative names the overwhelming majority said “Bob”- the name I use for lots of my examples when I do not want to call out a student by name. “Gecko” also appeared a few times.

We did an eyes closed hand up vote and “Bob” won.

“What if it is a girl?” T asked.

“I had a friend who was named Roberta and she was called Bob or Bobbi sometimes,” I assured her.

“How do we know whether to say she or he?” one asked.

“We don’t, so we can use they,” I reminded.

“Yeah, we can.”

So, we have a new class pet. Some students suggested we get a cage, but I reminded them that the gecko might not like that, but we hope they will still be nearby tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Our Surprise Class Pet

  1. I love “hearing” the conversation with your students. Geckos are kinda cute. Good luck keeping it alive.

  2. I’m rooting for Bob! Thanks for sharing your conversation with your students – such heartfelt suggestions on what to do next. I live in the snowy mountains and it makes me giggle to think about just finding a gecko kicking around!

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