Teaching

Things I Learned from Being a Bearded Dragon Mom

When I looked into getting another classroom pet, I did a lot of research.  I wanted a pet that wasn’t noisy (that ruled out birds), wasn’t too smelly (that ruled out a lot of mammals), and wasn’t too fragile to hold (that ruled out many small animals).  I heard nothing but good things from bearded dragon owners singing their praises so I thought I would take the leap and purchase a bearded dragon.  I can now wholeheartedly say that a beardie was the BEST choice for my classroom.  Being a beardie mom is a blast!  This blog post is an ode to Oliver, the resident beardie of Nebraska Lutheran High School’s science room.

10 Things I Learned from Being a Beardie Mom:

  1. Beardies relieve your stress.   I always catch Oliver doing hilarious things.   See exhibit A below.

             

Oliver showing off his flexibility                 What happens when you get ‘too close’

2.  Order in.  It’s easier.  My choice- Blue Apron.  Oliver’s choice- Fluker’s.

3. Somedays when you just aren’t feeling it, it pays to relax.

4. Sometimes you just need to let your beardies go and live their dreams- don’t hold them back.  Oliver will escape most enclosures because he likes to roam and explore.  He even thinks the classroom is a cage!  I’ve seen him try to climb up the walls to get out of the classroom.

Do you see him???

5. You will always have irrational nightmares about your babies, no matter how well they are doing.  Just this month, I’ve had two bad dreams about Oliver.  I had one dream that somehow three other ‘mean’ lizards got into Oliver’s tank and killed him.  Then two days later, I dreamt that I came into the classroom one morning and Oliver only had two legs!

6. Beardies are great subjects for posting pictures all over social media to annoy people.  Oliver gets a fair amount of Instagram slots.  It was worse when he was a baby, but I’ve calmed down a little bit now that he’s growing up.

7. And they are great to take selfies with!  

8. Animals teach invaluable lessons.  I’ve seen my students learn more respect for living creatures and responsibility from taking care of Oliver and his friends in my classroom.  And they are proud of that role too.

9. Beardies are a lot of work, but the happiness you receive from them is worth more than gold.  Just look at this happy face!!!

10. Beardies are the sweetest reptile I’ve ever handled!  I recommend them to any teacher wanting a great reptile for their classroom.  Take time to handle and bond with these little guys and you’ll become besties!

 

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