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.