No classroom Pet

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by eydie, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. eydie

    eydie Companion

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    Jul 17, 2007

    I just heard that we will no longer be allowed to have a classroom pet or live plants. I have always kept a tank of fish, and gerbils or hampsters. The children adore them and can't wait until it is their turn to be the "zoo keeper." Our class does have a traveling buddy(stuffed frog) that goes home with a student each weekend but its not the same as the real pet. I'm just sad.:( I don't think I've ever heard of anyone having an allergic reaction by watching fish. As a matter of fact I have used the tank to calm students down, or to cheer them up just by allowing them to go sit by the tank. Also, what's the deal with plants? We won't even be able to grow seeds. Not even in the plastic bags. I already checked into this. It just seems a little bit overboard!

    Does your school allow pets?
    What kind of pet do you have in your classroom?
    And what about plants?:confused:
     
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  3. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2007

    We can have plants and pets. Can't have snakes but other then that is it open to other caged pets.
     
  4. Miss_snugs

    Miss_snugs Rookie

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    Wow- that does seem a bit overboard! We are allowed to have live plants. No one has ever had a class pet so I'm not sure about that.
     
  5. Mommy2wad

    Mommy2wad Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2007

    I would be upset too. I haven't had a class pet yet, but am thinking of getting one this year. Any suggestions on a good one to pick?
     
  6. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    I think that is terrible! I would be upset! I have an aquarium of fish, a hamster and lots of plants. I also bring in for visits kittens/cats, birds, bunnies, small dogs, guinea pigs(which I plan to have full time this year), and anything else I can get my hands on! I don't know what I would do with no pets! One reason I am able to do this is when we place our students we make sure none with allergies comes to my room. So far it has worked out great!

    I feel for ya! I sure hope something changes so you can at least have some fish and plants.
     
  7. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 17, 2007

    What's the reasoning behind this? We're thinking in terms of allergies, but what are the higher ups thinking? Is it a cost thing for no fish?

    I know some districts that charge teachers to have things such as small refridges, microwaves etc in the room.
     
  8. eydie

    eydie Companion

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    Mommy2wad.... I think the best class pet are gerbils if you can find them as youngsters. They don't smell as much as hampsters and they are very easy to hand train. They are also more active during the day. If you put them in a running ball you can teach them to come for a treat. once they do it in the ball you can let them out loose on the floor and they will come when called!
    I also really like my fish. No worries on the holidays...just drop in an extended feeder.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 17, 2007

    The reasoning could be a mold/algae issue. There are so many allergies!!
     
  10. VA2500

    VA2500 Rookie

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    No PETS, I would write the school board. This is way over the top. I can see checking kids records for allergies before bringing a pet into the classroom. I do not believe that I have ever heard of anyone being allergy to fish as long as they remain in the aquarium.

    Same goes for plants, I would check records. I would probably not grow peanuts or soy beans, but unless the plants have lots of flowers with lots of pollen the chances of a kid being allergic to a plant is very remote.

    For a good laugh or a cry -depending on how your view the world check out. "We Protect Kids from Everything but Fear"

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17770831/site/newsweek/

    You may decide to drink a real sugar filled soft drink and maybe even down a few French fries.

    VA
     
  11. ~Nicole

    ~Nicole Comrade

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    Jul 17, 2007

    Fish-

    because fish potty in the same water that they live in salmonella can be transferred. That's what I was told at my last placement,
     
  12. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    Wow! Are the kids splashing in the water then sucking their fingers? I really wonder where some of the "in charges" get their reasoning! I understand the need to protect but I also think there are some real animal hatters out there! :)
     
  13. BASAM

    BASAM Comrade

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    I have a hamster (other pets in the building are tarantula, iguana, and fish) and almost everyone has plants. I got the hamster because one of my students came in and told me that they had a pet at home and her mom wanted to get rid of it. In more detail her mom wanted to flush it down the toilet because it got loose in the house for a few days before mom found it in a dresser drawer. So I said okay, the only problem is that now that I have brought it home for the summer you can hear it run in it's wheel from about 1am to 4am.
     
  14. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    Jul 17, 2007

    Where are you eydie? That sounds really over the top.

    I have had a guinea pig for the past 3 years (the first class that I got him with will be 5th graders, got him when they were 2nd graders). Every year at the beginning of the year they come back in and "visit with Fred". There was even one student that was "behaviorally challenged" sometimes and his new teacher and I worked out a deal where if he would do 5 certain things all week he got to come during their recess time and visit Fred. It worked like a charm. He started totally following her rules and doing his work for her. The students I am looping to 3rd grade with wanted to make sure that Fred would be going with us to 3rd. I honestly don't think they were going to go if he didn't.

    Also how are you supposed to do the plant unit if the students aren't allowed to grow the plants?
     
  15. eydie

    eydie Companion

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    Jul 17, 2007

    :cool: I have to keep my location top secret. There is another teacher I know here. I have her figured out but for some reason I'd like to stay anonymous.

    It is a district rule this year so I guess I'll just have to suck it up and go petless:(

    It's amazing how people who use to be teachers and are now school board administers can make these ridiculus rules. Have they really forgotten? Are they worried about law suits or is it all a power trip?!!
     
  16. kindernj123

    kindernj123 Companion

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    We can't have pets in our rooms. We have a science lab with all kinds of reptiles, turtles, spiders, and fish. Plants??? Wow! I guess I should be glad we are allowed to still plant plants!
     
  17. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    A lot of common house plants have been proven to improve the quality of the air we breath by taking out allergens and increasing O2 levels (like spider plants). If I were in your shoes I would find some research on this to present to your district. Perhaps if all your student's parents sign a waiver you can also have pets??
     
  18. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    That's really kind of sad :(

    I have to tell you that I have a daughter who is allergic to every kind of animal dander under the sun (including hamsters!!!). If she's in a room with a cat or dog, she has an asthma attack. However, that being said, even she has her fish!! Pets are such a neat part of childhood - it's sad to see that taken away.
     
  19. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    Hmmm, I've never been a fan of allowing furry pets in the classroom. I (and my dd) have allergies and even if we're in a classroom for a short time (like switching classes for something) they can trigger allergies that can affect the whole day. I don't think it's a good idea. But, I don't get the plant thing...or problems with fish. Have they said why?
     
  20. elizak83

    elizak83 Companion

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    The last school I taught in did not allow pets of any kind. But I was told that it was because it was "a distraction from learning." I was very bummed out about it. I wanted to get a turtle. I think it would've been a good learning experience, not a distraction. We were allowed to have plants though...I don't get why they would say no plants.
     
  21. SouthernTeach

    SouthernTeach Companion

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    Jul 18, 2007

    :eek:
    We have found many snakes on our campus (even in the building!!)
    :eek: I found one (a small one) last year in our backpack/coat area.
    Whenever anyone on campus encounters one we call a certain teacher who is not afraid of snakes and he catches them and takes them to his room-he has an aquarium for them- or releases them at the back of the campus near a retention pond.
    I personally don't want any pets, but I sure would be upset about the no plant rule!
     
  22. hyperangel

    hyperangel Rookie

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    My building allows plants and pets. I am not sure if it's a building or district decision but I know at least where I am currently we're allowed.
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Plants and fish are part of our curriculum.

    As far as being a distraction from learning.....
    They can be (depending on what kind) BUT they also offer a tremendous wealth of learning and I'm not talking just about feeding and caring for it. I know our students do journals on our pets. They are SOOOOOO motivated by this compared to when we ask them to write at other times. We also learn some facts about our animals and they ask very interesting questions. Without even trying tons of science gets dumped into the day's lessons. We even have prediction sheets for what kind of foods our animal will eat. The students learn that predictions don't always match reality and it's okay to be wrong. We indirectly discuss the scientific method and encourage them not to change their answers. They've even asked to test other theories. Wow! Animals can offer a variety of learning lessons that can't be matched with scripted curriculum. Last year the students learned a lot, first hand, about hibernation. We did a bulletin board on it. That was neat!

    We do send out a letter about our pets and we check with the office for allergies (just in case parents don't read and object).

    We have 2 classrooms and last year it was necessary a few times for me to move one of the pets into whatever room we weren't using because of a student who had some obsessive tendencies. He was the one, however, that benefited the most from using the pet as a motivational writing tool among other things. Sometimes it became a positive reinforcement tool for him as well.
     
  24. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I have two baby female gerbils. :) They became mine yesterday. I never dreamed of having pets before this. The teacher who gave them to me had a million pets in her room last year- gerbils (she had... 8 or 10?) and a few snakes.

    However, the furry traveling buddy is a good idea, and so is having one of those fake fish tanks. The teacher next door has one of them, and she doesn't have to rest worrying about live animals. I am actually scared that I won't do the right thing for the gerbils... though they don't have to be fed or cleaned as often as I thought before.
     
  25. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I had some gerbils for a couple years, but gave them to students at the end of this year. They just became too much work. This year they began fighting (drawing blood) and we had to seperate them. I didn't have room for two cages, but kept them that way all year anyway, taking space away from our art area. Some other classroom "borrowed" one for some time, which was good for the other classes as well. A kindergarten class ended up researching gerbils and studying their behavior, so that was good.

    The kids loved them though. I am teaching summer school, and today a student commented that she missed the gerbils.

    I have a beta, and the fish is going on year ! I think classroom pets ARE great, and are wonderful for responsiblity. I would like a turtle as well. I think studying the habitat would be good. You could do great research about turtles, as there are so many kinds, in all kinds of habitats!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2007
  26. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Can you tell be what care a beta fish requires? Are they easy to maintain? I've had gerbils, guinea pigs and hamsters. I am done with those (enjoyed them at the time though).
     
  27. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Most fish are easy to care for. Beta's are nice fish bowl sort of fish and are easy to care for. If you have old enough kids then it is easy to have a kid or two take responsibility for your critters. I had a student who would come in in the morning and feed my fish. This made work really easy for me!
     
  28. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Betas are SUPER easy to care for! They are great for single fish environments, because they will fight and/or bite other fish (I have had other fish's tails be destroyed by a beta!). They are one of the few freshwater fish that do not overeat, even when overfed. Plus, they are beautiful, with bright jewel colors and their long flowing tails!
     

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