Mrs. Morgan’s class pets

Photo by: MJ Kindem

Class pets have many benefits to the classroom, but they also require care and responsibility. Mrs. Morgan, a 7th grade science teacher here at Valley Middle School of STEM has three pets in her classroom—two gerbils and a gecko.

Her gecko, Greta, was purchased last year in early February, while her gerbils Reeway and Fenway were bought last summer. She says Greta was bought since geckos aren’t an animal that need intense care. They aren’t social creatures, and all they really need is food, water, and warmth. However, since Mrs. Morgan isn’t planning to do anything science-related with her animals, you can only watch Greta the gecko.

Now about her gerbils, Reeway and Fenway. Mrs. Morgan says that gerbils are “so much more interactive.” It might even make kids excited to come to science. Even though pets can cause excitement, someone still has to care for them on long weekends and breaks. Normally, Mrs. Morgan will take the pets home and her boys will take care of them. However, one weekend Mrs. Rogers cared for them. Mrs. Morgan says anyone who she thinks is responsible enough can care for the pets, could help take care of them. 

Although having class pets seems exciting it can be a lot of work to keep your animals happy. They need to feel safe and comfortable which can be hard in a environment with a ton of human contact. So, if you want to get a class pet or are thinking about it you may want to make rules/boundaries that won’t cause the animals to be to anxious. Not only do you need to keep them happy but you also need to keep them alive. It can require a ton of work when it comes to cleaning and to take care of in general. If they aren’t being tended to they could cause a foul smell or mess that may bug the students.

However, pets can also help the class in many ways. For different classes, pets might even help students learn—for social studies, students could learn about the different animals in different cultures and for math a teacher could create a problem that has to do with an animals’ weight. For some students, class pets could even help reduce the tension or boredom in a classroom. Which, might not always be a good thing—class pets could cause distraction. Overall, Mrs. Morgan says having class pets are great for the learning environment.