Community//

The Role of the Classroom Pet

Pets play a unique role in our lives. Many of us have come to think of our pets as more than just companions. They enrich our personal lives to such a great extent that we often consider them to be honored members of our families. They show us unconditional love and acceptance in a world […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
The Role of the Classroom Pet - Shannon Burton

Pets play a unique role in our lives. Many of us have come to think of our pets as more than just companions. They enrich our personal lives to such a great extent that we often consider them to be honored members of our families. They show us unconditional love and acceptance in a world that is often judgemental. Due to these very traits, having classroom pets can make such a tremendous positive impact on schools.

New Enthusiasm for Learning

Having a classroom pet, regardless of species, can elicit a new spark for learning from students. Beyond only learning how to take care of an animal, classroom pets can provide a sense of authentic purpose for many subjects. For instance, students can learn about the natural habitat (science) of a blue-tongued skink, determine where bearded dragons come from (geography), or utilize math skills and find out how much Squeakers, the guinea pig, weighs. Reporting on frogs’ life cycle is much more enjoyable and relevant when you’ve got a tadpole in the classroom. A classroom pet can be just the trick to engaging students

Social & Emotional Benefits

Classroom pets can instill a sense of responsibility in students who must care for the pet. Allowing students to care for a classroom pet can encourage leadership skills and develop pride in the learning community. As students interact with animals in the classroom, they will understand how their behavior affects others and develop sensitivity and empathy for others’ needs. A classroom pet can be the bridge for some students who struggle with social interactions to make friends. We know that such social-emotional skills are crucial for students’ success in learning, future careers, and life. 

Relief Anxiety, Stress, & Tension

Student emotional well-being can also be a beneficial aspect of having a classroom pet. 

Animals tend to have a calming effect on children; in fact, one study reported that given the option, 40% of children choose the company of a pet when feeling sad. The same study found that children would turn to their pets when upset, tired, lonely, or scared, and that of children with pets in the home, 53% said they enjoy having a pet nearby while doing homework.

A classroom pet can help to reduce student stress and anxiety. A classroom pet can be a friendly face that allows children to feel a sense of calm. Pets can help children and adults regulate their breathing and heart rate, so they are often used in therapy sessions. 

While having a classroom pet can mean additional work for the teacher, they can provide students with an incredible classroom experience. If you consider adding a pet to your classroom, it’s crucial that you do your research and choose wisely. 

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    TEACHER’S PET

    by [email protected]
    Community//

    TEACHER’S PET

    by [email protected]
    Well-Being//

    (Furry) Friends with (Different) Benefits

    by Arianna Huffington

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.