Animals contribute to learning environment


Tabatha Fitzgerald

Junior Maria Guia pets the snake in the biology lab.

Tabatha Fitzgerald, Reporter

Ever since science teacher Rachel Pearce’s first year teaching, she has always had a class pet. The only rule for having a class pet is making sure that there is a backup plan in place incase someone is allergic to them. Pearce currently has 11 class pets ranging from a Morning Dove to a Tarantula.

Pearce believes that having a class pet helps her motivate her students to learn and get their work done in class.

“I think (students) like being exposed to different animals,” Pearce said. “It enhances the learning experience.”

Pearce says that sometimes she would let students hold one of the pets if they get their work done. This has worked in the past with trouble students who would get their work done because they knew that she would allow them hold one of the pets.

According to the American Humane Association, 56.1 percent of teachers with a class pet use them as a reward for students who do their work and 49.1 percent of teachers use class pets as examples in their lessons.

Both Biology teacher Amanda Schnepp and Pearce try to incorporate their class pets into their teaching. Schnepp has a Ball Python that spends his time in the lab. Schnepp hopes that having the python in the lab will motivate students to want learn more about not only the snake, but biology. Schnepp also has plants in her classroom to use as examples when she is teaching.

“I think it’s nice as a biology teacher to have examples of biology,” Schnepp said. “It’s nice to have an example of living things and something to refer to in class.”