Classroom pets can help students develop social skills, boost overall atmosphere

Students will have many learning experiences with them

OPINION, Grades 3–6, 2nd Place

Squeak, squeak – that’s the noise of your classroom pet. Why don’t you say hello to him before class starts? Some people think that classroom pets should be banned while others think pets should be allowed to stay in school.

Sixteen out of 20 people in my class think that classroom pets shouldn’t be banned. I think that classroom pets shouldn’t be expelled.

One reason that classroom pets are good is they help teachers to manage the feelings of the children in their classroom.  Sometimes if a kid is worried about an upcoming test, class pets can even increase attendance. Also, they can help teachers by creating less tension in the class.

Classroom pets can also help children develop good habits. Shai Young Kuchenbecker, research psychologist at Loyola Marymount University, says: “The child who cares for a pet knows that what he or she does matters, and so he or she will want to do more of it.”

Pets can also increase sensitivity by making a child become even more caring. They can make children more aware of the things that are happening around them. Classroom pets might even help you strengthen your social skills because talking to the pet might feel like you’re talking to a real person. You might even have higher self-esteem levels when you are exposed to a classroom pet. Seventh percent of teachers think children learn responsibility when they help to take care of a classroom pet.

One last reason for keeping a class pet is that students will have tons of learning experiences with them. Some kids will learn that there is more to living than just food and survival. When doing a group activity and a conflict comes up, pets will help them build their teamwork back up. These pets can even help teach school subjects. If you’re doing math, you can measure the amount of food they eat. Sometimes kids who don’t have a pet at home you can see one at school.

My writing teacher Ms. Butera says: “I used to have a pet turtle, I let the class have the pet turtle at their table if they were good.”

In second grade, we had chicks and it was the most amazing time of my life! So, these are reasons why classroom critters shouldn’t be expelled from school.

See all the winning entries from the 2019 Student Gazette here.

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