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The Ultimate Companion

The Benefits of Having a Class Pet

Photo by Jaroslaw Slodkiewicz on Unsplash

The companionship that pets bring to humans is soothing and calming; building us up when we need to and giving individuals a sense of purpose in life. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 74% of pet owners in the U.S. have reported a significant improvement in their mental health because of their pet. Animals can help reduce stress and anxiety in a way no person could ever do. A pet in the classroom provides a similar sense. They can help students feel more at home and less alone during the school day. Although a pet inside the classroom may appear to be distributive on the surface, class pets provide several benefits to students, strengthening their education and engagement in class.

Several examples of a class pet can include rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, fish and certain reptiles.

One of the greatest things that a class pet can bring to a student’s school life is teaching them responsibility. Students can learn how to take care of a pet in a different setting aside from their home, teaching them how to appropriately take care of an animal while also learning life lessons along the way. They can also teach students, among all ages, about compassion, empathy and the realities of taking care of a creature. Class pets can also help students with social and emotional skills without even realizing it.

In addition to responsibility, having a class pet also enhances the classroom experience in numerous ways. Many students may have a hard time finding the motivation to go to class every day, but a class pet allows them to bring a positive attitude into the classroom and gain the excitement they need for a proper education. Students who may not have a pet at home can interact with a class pet daily, installing a sense of awareness in all students. A class pet can also be involved in certain projects depending on the class subject, providing students with hands-on activities which can greatly improve a student's learning abilities.

Although class pets have several advantages, a big concern that must be thought of beforehand is the disruptiveness that it could cause in the classroom. It is normal for students to get off-topic or lose interest in a school topic. With a class pet, this problem could very easily be increased if not properly introduced the correct way. To help eliminate this, keeping a class pet in the back of the class can keep the attention more focused on the teacher, and less on the pet. It could also be effective to have set times, or specific projects that are heavily focused on the class pet, to keep the positive energy alive in the classroom while still allowing students to focus on their studies.

The debate about whether to have a class pet or not ultimately comes down to the administrators and teachers, and if they have the resources to supply a classroom with a pet. With lots of research and commitment, the right choice can be concluded in a way that will best fit the classroom. Class pets are more than just an animal in the classroom, but an aspect that brings happiness into a student’s hectic school day, allowing them to fully engage in class material and have a positive educational experience.


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Andy Poll

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