Back to School: 5 Reasons Why Classroom Pets Are a Great Idea
As back to school sales start popping up all over, teachers may begin to consider whether adopting a small animal as a classroom pet might be a good idea. Having a classroom pet can be a wonderful opportunity for children. Caring for a pet teaches kids about animal behaviour and how to properly care for and interact with pets. But here are five additional qualities that having a class pet might instil in your students:
Pets Provide New Ways to Learn
Whether it’s math (How much does the guinea pig weigh?), science (What does the diet of a rat consist of?), geography (What part of the world do bunnies come from?) or even grammar (What adjectives can be used to describe a turtle?), classroom pets can make learning any subject more fun.
Students get to enjoy a new way of learning these subjects, and they will delve into them with added excitement and interest. Students can even create presentations about the animals or teach children from other classes about their classroom pets.
Pets Encourage a Nurturing Attitude
It takes time, but children learn that if they give their love to an animal, they will get its love and loyalty in return. Building such a connection is important because it teaches children to treat everybody with love and kindness. This learning experience can help any child with their social skills, from those who might tend to act as bullies, to shy students who have trouble connecting with peers.
Pets Build Self Esteem
Taking care of a pet gives children a sense of accomplishment and pride –and even more so if the animal is able to return the affection showered on it. Seeing this reciprocation from the pet will only further the student’s bond and care for the animal in the future. Slowly, they’ll want to start taking on more responsibilities like feeding, watering, and even caring for the pet over holiday breaks. Numerous studies have shown that children who spend time with pets show higher levels of self-esteem than those without pets.
Pets Teach Responsibility
Children can start learning from a tender age what it is like to care for the needs of someone other than themselves, and this feeling is reinforced when that someone else happens to be meeker and weaker than them. A student’s protective instincts will kick in once he or she forms a special bond with the pet. It can start with little things like spending time with the classroom pet, and it can progress to being in charge of its food and water supply, cleaning its teeth, etc. With the teacher carefully monitoring pet care, a class pet can be a great opportunity for student growth.
Pets Soon Become Friends
It’s easy to be friends with an animal! All you have to do is love them, and they’ll love you back with all their heart. Children have been shown to develop strong bonds even with non-responsive animals like fish and turtles.
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