Pets LOOSE in the Classroom?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Ms. I, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 17, 2011

    How many of YOU do this? Would you ever try it?

    Long ago, I observed a 1st or 2nd gr class & their pet rabbit was loose to roam in the classroom. The teacher stated that her purpose for this is to teach kids that the world isn't sterile. I also figured that she wanted to teach that people have to learn to live & learn around life's distractions. It was really interesting to observe since I'd never seen anthing like that before. The kids of course were used to it, so they did their thing as if the rabbit wasn't there. I personally probably wouldn't go this far, but I guess if you have a good group of kids, it can surely be done.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I would love to have my dog run around the classroom all day, but I think that the liability issues are too great. I trust my dog implicitly, but sometimes you just never know how an animal will respond to a person, especially a kid who might be unpredictable.
     
  4. brit2187

    brit2187 Rookie

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    Feb 17, 2011

    it can work!

    a colleague of mine brings her two dogs to school with her as a treat on fridays if students have been well-behaved. the dogs are very mild-mannered and the students love having the dogs around. they are small lap dogs that usually just curl up in the corner or, much to the pleasure of our students, in one of their laps and sleep the day away! i'm not sure about an a pet in the room all the time though. seems like that would require potty-training and some definite clean-up!
     
  5. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I personally am not an animal person and would never have done that as a teacher and I would have been very afraid to have animals running around the classroom as a student. Also, I would be worried about allergies of students.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I wouldn't do this, but when I was in 6th grade (this was still elementary in my district) we had several pets throughout the year that the teacher would let out during certain times. We had a guinea pig that had babies and at some points during the day we would get them out on the carpet. We also rescued a few cats from outside and kept them in our room for a few days while we found homes for them. We had a pet snake that you could hold if you wanted to. My class had a major issue with turning in homework and my teacher would make playing with these pets only something that people who brought work in could do (everyone else had to finish their work and could join when they were done). Personally, I don't want the distraction or liability- but I did enjoy it as a student!
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I have done it for limited times but make no mistakes, I am watching the animal and the kids the whole time.
     
  8. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    No thank you. I have no desire to have furry animals in the classroom. There are enough "wild animals" roaming out of their seats when they shouldn't as it is.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I have done this.
     
  10. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Feb 17, 2011

    There's a woman who substitutes a lot at my school and sometimes brings her cat with her.

    Personally, I think it's quite bizarre. Therefore, I never call her to sub for my class. I really don't want a cat (or any animal for that matter) running around my classroom.

    Every spring, I order this for my classroom: http://www.shop-insectlore.com/Butterflies/Butterfly+Garden+Shipped+with+Live+Caterpillars.axd but the butterflies are confined to a habitat and aren't flying around the classroom.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 17, 2011

    No fur in my building. I wouldn't do this...one can not predict the actions of animals or the fears/possible health consequences associated with such choices...
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Feb 17, 2011

    I do it every day with either my bearded dragon or leopard gecko - under my supervision, of course. I also had a snake loose for a few hours until I found it.

    Youngteacherguy - buy a milkweed plant and put it in your garden or playground. I will bet you will get eggs laid by Monarchs and caterpillars a couple of days after that. It will save you some money and you will get a lot more than you can buy in a kit.

    Did I mention the red wrigglers in a compost bin, the roaches and mealworms we are breeding, the tadpoles,....?
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Awesome idea!!!

    One of the reasons why I love this forum--all the amazing (and free) ideas!!! :thumb:
     
  14. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Red wigglers in the compost bin are sooooo fun to count when the children are trying to decide if it is winter or spring.

    We do have pets, however they aren't out running around in the room with us.
     
  15. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    I wouldn't do it. Kids are allergic to everything these days. If the animal were to act unpredictably and hurt the child I bet parents would be very upset.
     
  16. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    There is a lot of research about the value of connecting children to the environment, and caring for animals is a component of this philosophy. We need to provide children with as many outdoor experiences and connections to nature as we can. It improves social, emotional and cognitive development and helps children develop connections to the environment. We are raising the future stewards of our world - we need to help them learn to care about the animals and plants in it. I don't do furry animals because of allergies but pretty much anything else not venomous is fair game. We respect everything from worms to people - sometimes respecting people is harder.
     
  17. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Feb 18, 2011

    I would love to be able to do this!!!!! My last district had a dog that roamed the halls with the counselor. There is a teacher in my current school that has a rabbit roaming her room. I would love to do it with a cat or a rabbit! I would definitely be a little nervous though!
     
  18. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    I don't know if I would do it myself, but I worked with a teacher that had a hamster in the classroom. There were times that she would let the hamster out around the classroom, but only in one of those special balls so he wouldn't get stepped on! He wasn't technically "free" because he was in a ball/cage thing, but he was able to roam the room freely and the kids loved it. I spotted him rolling around the hallway outside the room once or twice and returned him!
     
  19. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2011

    I loved it when I had my bearded dragon in my classroom. The kids fed her salads (healthy food unit!) and insects (life cycles!). Do to space issues I couldn't bring her in but loved it when I could.
    We have ladybugs now and they are enjoying them now.
     
  20. mandijyn

    mandijyn Rookie

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    Feb 19, 2011

    Be careful with that the milkweed is kept away from small hands- it has a compound that is severely irritating to eyes.
     
  21. mandijyn

    mandijyn Rookie

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    I have brought my rabbit in on special days- and let her roam freely. She is a litter box trained "gentle giant" and has a very docile personality. I wouldn't choose this with a pet/class I did not trust, or without parental consent. The kids loved interacting with the rabbit and did observational writing while she was there.
    If I could keep her in class every day I would-(my district won't allow mammals or reptiles) I love the responsibility a pet teaches, as well as her calming effect. I would also love to have the students practice reading to her- as pets don't judge if we stutter or struggle- although she may try and eat the book.. ;)
     
  22. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Ummm...I haven't had trouble with the milkweed. When it is outside the kids don't mess with it and when it is inside it is because it has caterpillars and I have it in a big cage because caterpillars like to roam.
     
  23. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    When I first taught in the early 1990's, I had a guinea pig and it roamed around my preschool classroom. I would love to have a class pet but we aren't allowed.
     
  24. renmew

    renmew Rookie

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    Feb 19, 2011

    When I used to sub one special day teacher had a rabbit living in her classroom. The big problem was she wasn't "in" a cage, but directly on the tile floor with garden fencing keeping her in a 6 sq ft space. I was supposed to work two days in that room, but the stench was sooooo bad, that I had a major headache by the end of day one. I had to call the sub desk and ask them to find someone else for day 2. I mean, even the tile floor was stained yellow in that space. ewwww

    I do have frogs in my room, which I let the kids hold from time to time.
     

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