Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pets in the classroom

If you are an elementary school teacher, you may be wondering whether pets or animals in the classroom is a good thing. Before deciding to get a pet, a teacher should consider many things.

First of all, is it school policy that a classroom can keep a pet. If it is, there may be animals that are not permitted. Some things to consider is animal comfort, student allergies, cost, among other things. Who and when will it be taken care of? Does it need attention on weekends? Can it be left alone? Is there a danger of biting?

Choosing a pet takes a lot of thought. You need to take into account the age and skill of your class. Will it be a distraction? You can lessen distractions by putting it in a place that is mostly, or all, out of view during teacher lessons.

Your kids will want to interact with it. Set rules and times.

What are the best pets for a classroom? Here are my picks: Bearded Dragons, rats, and fish. As far as the first two, your students must be taught the right way to handle and touch them. Fish are perhaps the best option, but do require electricity for pumps and lights. Some fish like goldfish can be kept with regular water changes done correctly.

It might be common practice, but not a good idea to let students take them home.

What are the benefits of classroom pets?

Animals in the classroom can have a comforting effect. Students might be more to like coming to school.

Kids are taught responsibility and how to interact with animals. Human behavior has a big effect on animals.

Classrooms can enrich their study of these subjects:
Language Arts as they write about them or keep journals.
Geography and Environment when they learn where they come from and how to keep them safe.
Math by keeping statistics on the care and feeding of the animal.

Of course a teacher or student can always be able to bring their pet from home (with school permission) like a dog, cat, rabbit.

Pets can really enhance a classroom, but safety is first!

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