Monday, December 5, 2011

Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, and Tarantulas, Oh My!

Hello! This is Erika from The Honey Bunch and I am so excited to be a contributor on Erica Bohrer's new blog dedicated to pets in the classroom.

Teaching is my job and my passion, but animals come a close second. (Some days it comes in first place. You know those days!) As a child, my second career choice (after teaching) was to be a veterinarian, but unfortunately you have to deal with blood, injuries, and hurt animals. Blood makes me pass out, so that pretty much ruled that out! And, to be honest, I prefer animals that are healthy and happy.

This is my eighteenth year teaching, and I have had a class pet (or two) since the very beginning. As an animal lover, it didn't take much to convince me that having a class pet would be a positive and beneficial thing for my students.

I've had a ring-necked dove, guinea pigs, cockatiels, hedgehogs, rabbits, rats, snakes, hamsters, walking sticks and lizards in my classroom.

Currently, I have a rabbit named Bugsy who is an eight year old OLD lady. She loves to hop around nibbling on shoelaces and can often be found in the paper recycling box chewing on paper. When she wants to be pet, she lets you know by nudging you on the foot or leg. She is litter box trained so she can roam around the room a lot.

I also have a guinea pig named Antonia who is about 4 years old. She is a chatterbox! When she wants to be fed, we know it! And she likes to be fed a LOT!

And finally, I have a rose-hair tarantula named Kiwi that is about eight years old. I think it is a she, or maybe it's just wishful thinking since I grew up with Charlotte from Charlotte's Web. My own children named her Kiwi because she is fuzzy like kiwi. (I don't eat that kind of fruit anymore, by the way!)

In future posts, I'd like to share with you some of the positives and negatives about different pets I've had. I also plan on sharing with you some of the ways I use my pets in my teaching. If anyone has a specific topic they'd like covered, please let me know.


  1. Love the first two, but I am a little creeped out about the tarantula!!!! :) I bow down to you though!!!

  2. Wow...I'm a bit jealous you have can have furry pets in your classroom! I'm such an animal lover too and I too couldn't handle being a vet b/c of the sad injured pets that go along with it--I like healthy happy pets too! I am curious how you handle allergies with your furry critters? That was my principal's big worry for even a hamster. I'm excited to hear about your pros and cons and teaching ideas you use!
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Awe, I showed my students the photos. They could relate to Antonia because our Chrysanthemum is such a screamer! I love how the rabbit hops around the classroom. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi Erika,
    I was wondering about your rabbit... I am thinking of taking my husband's rabbit to school next year (he's a retired magician). Can you tell me the realistic challenges of having a rabbit in the classroom? Pocus is litter box trained, but has spent most of his life in his roomy cage / playpen. He's been around children at magic shows, but not constantly like he would be in a classroom (we don't have kids of our own). Does your rabbit have free roam of the classroom? Would like any advice you'd have time to give me. Thank you! Catherine
    my email:


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