I teach agriculture education at a small high school in Wisconsin with BIG academic opportunities for students. While my students come from a rural background, we are located only 20 minutes from a major city.
The vision in my classroom is to introduce students to a wide variety of agricultural careers and spark an interest to develop skills that will stay with them for years to come.
When students leave my classroom, after spending anywhere from 1 to 4 years together, my favorite moment is when they come back to tell me they are still doing something (whether it is a job or a hobby) that they first learned in one of my classes.
We currently have 3 guinea pigs as classroom pets who get taken out nearly every hour of the day; it's amazing to see these little creatures be such a strong form of therapy for my students! I use the animals in my Small Animal Care class to demonstrate how to trim pet's nails, proper holding and restraint techniques, how to brush pet's teeth, and grooming. By having the guinea pigs I can use actual animals when we discuss anatomy, emergency veterinary care and dietary needs.
Having classroom pets not only teaches my students about pet care, but they learn responsibility, compassion and become care givers.
Having the necessary supplies to keep the guinea pigs in the classroom allows me to have a unique, hands-on opportunity for my classroom and will help my students determine which pets are right for them down the road.
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