First Graders and eggs. The Life of a Teacher. Children do the funniest things.
One of my students brought an egg to school. Not a colored Easter egg, not a hard boiled egg, not a plastic egg, she brought a plain old everyday white chicken egg. At first I didn't know she had it, she kept it tucked into her pocket and only pulled it out occasionally to show to the other girls in class. I discovered her secret when a group of whispering girls gathered around her desk and began to giggle. The giggles grew louder as I got closer to their spot, then erupted into full grown laughing when I saw the egg. At first I didn't know what to say-why would someone bring an egg to school? I figured she probably wanted to eat it at lunch time so I picked it up to look at it. To my surprise (and horror) I realized that the egg was not boiled-it was raw. I became really confused then-why in the world would she bring an uncooked egg to school? When I asked her why she had brought it, she simply picked up the egg in her hand and began to cradle it like a baby. She hugged it to her chest and simply said, "I don't know".
I was in a quandry. I didn't wan't her walking around the school with a raw egg, but I didn't really have a reason to give her as to why she couldn't. I thought I had her when I told her that she could keep it if she could prove to me that she wouldn't break it. She smiled broadly as she pulled a little fabric basket stuffed with tissue out of her pocket. The egg fit perfectly inside. The other girls cooed in awe and looked up at me expectently. Well she got me- I had to let her keep it. She walked around with the egg in the basket for the rest of the day without incident. I was happy when the day ended and I didn't have to call the custodian to clean up a slimy mess. I had no idea what the next few days had in store for me.
The next day she showed up with two eggs. Not only that but another little girl had one of her own. I didn't know whether I was running a first grade classroom or starting a farm. After thoroughly instructing both girls on the proper care and feeding of their baby eggs, they placed their small charges in the little baskets on their desks and we began our day. Once again I was very relieved when the day over.
My relief was short lived. The next morning most of the girls came to class with their own eggs. I say most of the girls because one little girl showed up with a dead bird she had found on the way to school. I had to draw the line at the dead bird-I got out a plastic tupperware container and put the bird into it instructing my little scientist not to take it back out or bring it back to class the next day.
The little girls began sharing their eggs with the little boys in class, and that's where the trouble began. The boys weren't as careful with the baby eggs as the girls were. The eggs began ending up unbasketed on the boy's desks and unfortunately the boys thought it was great fun to roll them down the desks and catch them before they barely escaped splattering on the floor. Even after admonishing them and taking some of the eggs from the more careless ones we had our first fatality.
That afternoon as we were getting in line to go to the restroom I heard a loud shreak. A crowd had gathered around a yelping little girl who covered her hands with her mouth and looked at the floor. There on the floor was her baby egg-broken. After what seemed like an eternity the little girl's eyes moved from the floor to glare accusingly at one of the little boys. She pointed her finger at him and yelled, "He killed it!" The frightened little boy glanced toward the floor as the angry little "mamas" in the room advanced on him.
We decided at that point it was not a good idea to bring eggs (or dead birds) to school. After we "buried" our deceased egg in the trashcan I had the children promise that they would leave their eggs at home. I was glad this classroom episode had come to an end, or so I thought.
The next day a little girl showed up at school with a bar of soap.
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