Classroom Pets


Abbey Johns, Senior Staff Writer

Classroom pets are an interesting subject to speak about because the positive or negative feedback must come from the teacher whose room will house this pet.  This topic brings up many questions, for both the teacher and the students: Do teachers or students leave the pet overnight, all alone? Do they take the pet home? Who feeds it? Who takes it to the vet when necessary? Who cleans its habitat? Is it healthy for the pet now during times of Covid?   As you can see, these questions can be answered much more easily for some pets–say fish–than for others, like cats or dogs.  

Therefore, many considerations are a factor when it comes to classroom pets. They require a large time commitment, but provide a learning experience, and are often a gift to children, with the hope that taking care of a pet will instill responsibility into the young. They also improve a child’s well-being by increasing attendance.  According to an article on, “A classroom pet provides a crucial bond that greatens students’ health and well being.”  

Many students have pets at home that they’d  like to share with their class. At Hubbard Elementary School, Mrs. VanSuch had a lizard as her class pet. She  kept a feeding chart for the lizard, and particular students were assigned to feed the lizard each day.  Mrs. VanSuch  explained to her students that it was a big responsibility for first-graders, and she was correct because some kids forgot to feed the pet. On snow days he was often neglected. One time students accidentally let loose the lizard’s food–crickets–in the classroom! 

Kaden Clay remembers,  “My kindergarten teacher had a turtle named Rocco, and he was pretty chill and low maintenance.” Formerly a Niles student, Kaden had a class pet before anyone at Hubbard. 

Another benefit presented in the same online article explains that “A pet brings increased sensitivity and awareness of the feelings and needs of others—both animals and humans.” Some teachers at Hubbard believe the same thing. Two teachers from our very own high school share their opinion on the classroom pet they’d want. Mrs. Lisa Cricks, Math teacher, states “Hands down a cat. I’m a big cat person. If someone would be having a bad day it would help make our classroom happier. If somebody were to be sick, that cat’s purr could possibly heal them. They could provide a fun and safe environment.” Mrs. Teresa Stepitich, also Math, disagrees when it comes to cats, however. “I would want a dog. I couldn’t have reptiles, and guinea pigs could bite me or others. Ideally, the dog would help keep students awake and encourage my students to stay on task.” 

Obviously, the topic of classroom pets is a hot one here at Hubbard High, and hopefully, this article highlights the positive benefits that comes from owning a class pet.