Hearing from other teachers can be a wonderful way to learn about how to better your classroom environment through a classroom pet, which why we want to introduce you to this month’s featured teacher, Angela Meyer! Angela is a kindergarten teacher in Simi Valley, California and has had her classroom pets (water turtles) for 11 years! We did a short interview with her to find out more about her classroom pet experience:
Why did you decide to get a classroom pet?
I had a rabbit when I taught Preschool while going to college and the students loved Casiopi so much, so I looked into a classroom pet. We have many restrictions and cannot have animals with teeth, so I decided that turtles were a good solution and I was correct!
Tell us a little bit about your classroom pet:
I have three turtles. They are in an aquarium in our classroom. They like to stack up on top of each other under the lamp to keep warm and the children LOVE watching this!
How do you use your classroom pet to facilitate learning?
We are a Catholic school and we teach compassion and caring for others. The students are able to choose the Pet Feeder job and are able to feed the turtles their food. This is a coveted position.
What is your favorite thing about having a classroom pet?
I love the sound of the water filter…it gives a calming effect and they are part of our classroom family.
What advice do you have for teachers who are thinking of getting a classroom pet?
I would say that they are a wonderful addition, but make sure you have the time to take care of them.
Do you have any tips on caring for your classroom pet?
Treat them like one of the family and make sure they have whatever they need.
If you want to learn more about classroom pets, you can find information, resources, and our grant application on our website, www.petsintheclassroom.org.