The children in my classroom love to read to our Guinea Pig Sweetie. Sweetie is a gentle,quiet and kind listener. I have several small stools that the children pull right up to Sweetie's cage when they want to read to her. I have always had pets in my classroom. Currently I have a Beta Fish, Mr. B, and hermit crabs. I have had a black snake and a corn snake as well as millipedes and earthworms. I am fortunate to work in a school where pets are encouraged and we have a lot in our school. I feel that pets are so important for the children. One of the daily jobs in our classroom is to be the zoologist. Each child has the opportunity to be the zoologist several times a year. It is a favorite job and as the year goes on the children become more independent feeding and watering the pets. I spend time at the beginning of the year teaching the children about pet care. The most I do at this time of the year is hook the water bottle up to the cage for Sweetie. The benefits of having pets in the classroom are many. The pets teach kindness, how to care for something that depends on you, exploration about animals and they give companionship to the children. Many children may never get to experience pet ownership due to housing restrictions so a pet at school is their first pet experience. Pets in the Classroom
has a grant program for teachers to get classroom pets. They awarded over 22,000 grants last year for classroom pets. There are also a lot of great articles on this site if you are interested in having a classroom pet.
I can't imagine my classroom without pets. I would love to hear about your classroom pets!