I finally told my students this week that I was pregnant. Let me just tell you, it was more fun than I imagined. I was planning to tie it in to our chick incubation and I was going to wait until they hatched, but I just couldn't wait another day, especially since my belly was starting to knock their pencils over as I walked between their tables.
We all sat down on the carpet and I started with a review of Life Cycles, during which I always like to give a little "don't have babies when you're in high school" speech:
Me: Okay, everyone! What are the four phases of all life cycles?
A: Growth and Development!
Me: Okay great. Now, what does a species have to do in order to survive? If they didn't do this, there wouldn't be any more of that species after the ones living now have died...
Me: Good! And in what phase of the life cycle does reproduction occur?
Me: Great! And remember, adulthood is different for humans than it is for other organisms. Just because nature says you're an adult doesn't mean you should reproduce...right???
A: Right! You need a job, and an education.
Oh thank goodness, it sank in with somebody...if I taught this girl nothing else this year at least she knows this.
Me: Yes, you need lots of things. Now, we've been watching the embryos develop inside these eggs for a couple weeks now, and I have some big news. We're going to watch the embryo of another organism develop in our classroom this year. Can anyone guess what it is?
K: The lizards!
T: The hamster!
Me: No, keep thinking.
M: Bess Beetles! (they have these in 3rd grade)
Me: No. I'll give you a hint...it's a mammal.
Lots of thinking....I can see the wheels turning...what's a mammal again?
I: a kangaroo!
A: A polar bear!
Me: No, I'll give you another hint...it's in the room with us right now!
The kids start looking around. They're glancing under desks and tables, totally confused.
Me: You're getting closer...long pause...We're going to have a human embryo developing in our classroom.....I see the light bulbs start to go on, the kids start looking at each other, then finally...
J: Well, that can only be true if you're having a baby.
Me: That's right! I'm having a baby.
GASPS AND OOHS AND AHHS AND LAUGHS AND HUGS AND HANDS AND SHOUTS AND QUESTIONS AND OH MY GOSH OH MY GOODNESS YOU'RE KIDDING ARE YOU REALLY I KNEW IT!
When we learned about the chicken embryos, all I ever said was that you need to have a female part and a male part come together in the right way. The kids were asking about me and my husband and if we planned it ("because my sister had a baby with her boyfriend and they were SURPRISED!") I explained that yes, we planned it, and we've been planning it for a long time. We wanted to be out of college, and we wanted to be married, and we wanted to have jobs and a house...
One little boy sitting across the circle from me just curled up in a ball and shook his head back and forth. I knew exactly what he was thinking..."She better not talk about sex." I said, "B, is this too much for you?" He looked right at me and said, "Yes. Can we please go to recess?" I said sure.