Are you new to the classroom pet experience? Whether a first year teacher or a veteran teacher new to classroom pets, the idea of bringing an animal into the classroom can be both exciting and daunting. If you visit our website, you can review a list of things to consider before getting a pet, but we thought it might be helpful to also hear what teachers with experience recommend to first-time teachers getting classroom pets:
My biggest piece of advice is to make sure teachers have mastered their classroom management and teach safety rules for the animals. Kids don’t always know better with animals and get excited which can result in injury. Have a plan with colleagues if you are going to be out sick. (Mine are always put in the stock room with no kid access because I can’t monitor.) Be sure you have a plan in place BEFORE you get them so they have the most comfortable and safe life.
7th Grade Science
Arnold Middle School
Learn about the up keeping before purchasing. Know it will be your pet after school is over:) My students love learning facts about our guinea pigs! Research your pet and share info with your kids:)
Pre-K through 5th grade Science
Bethune Community School
North Minneapolis, MN
Have a lesson introducing the pet first, e.g. a lesson about how beneficial and vulnerable snakes can be.
1st Grade Teacher
Del Valle ISD
We have a guinea pig, but first we read a non fiction book about guinea pigs. It’s 101 facts about guinea pigs. The facts are numbered with big numbers so the kids knew our progress. I asked them questions about the facts each day. On Friday, they came up with a long list of ways the guinea pig can be used in work stations. They came up with stuff I didn’t even think of. TpT has a classroom pet unit, too. Teach your students that the pet likes quiet voices or it will get scared.
First Grade Teacher
Prime Prep Academy
I had our guinea pigs spend a few days at home with me first. They got used to me, so now that they are in the classroom and there are tons of heads be bopping around, I am their happy place.
Special Education Teacher
Denver Public Schools
To hear more advice from teachers, visit our Facebook page! Feel free to post your own advice or ask questions!