The stories we receive from teachers about their experiences with classroom pets continue to impress us. Here are a few comments we received from a few Las Vegas area teachers:
Students enjoyed visiting the pets as they checked out their library books. The pets help make our school library a warm, happy place. Some students were given special time observing the pets as a reward for good behavior. In particular, this was very helpful for one of our students with severe ADHD. He could earn hamster time at the end of class by working hard to stay on task and get his work done.
Lummis Elementary School
I had a great classroom experience with the pets. My class really enjoyed it and it also helped them academically. They did research to learn more about our pets, which led to them wanting to learn more about other animals.
What I thought was the most amazing wasn’t so much the academics. My kids were excited about school and the pets. They told their parents, their friends and their siblings. Everyday after school I had people in my room talking about, learning about and appreciating an animal most of them never had any experience with.
4th Grade Teacher
My pet in the classroom experience has been so positive that it has motivated me to expand my science and discovery center in my classroom. I have incorporated plants and different animals. It has become a focal point in the classroom. I received a gecko with my grant that added to my aquarium of goldfish. I plan on having other animals such as hermit crabs, frogs, and a turtle (we are not allowed to have animals with fur).
There has been great improvement in my classroom due to the pets in the classroom experience… For example, it has helped children who suffer with separation anxiety to transition more smoothly in the morning. I wait for certain children that I know love the pet to come in and allow them to perform certain care routines like feeding, watering, etc. it’s amazing how tears dry up almost immediately when I mention the job that needs to be done. Some children are just happy with watching the animal eat or walk around in their habitat, which offers them a distraction from being sad that their parent has left them.
Barbara Stephens, teacher
Acelero Learning Head Start, Reach Out