Class Pets and the Montessori Method

Why do some classes have a class pet? Sure, it is something fun for the students but, having a class pet is another way the Montessori method is integrated into every child’s education.  Cosmic education is a cornerstone of the Montessori way. It is the idea that all things are interconnected. Class pets bring that connection to the classroom by allowing students to feel empathy, respect, and compassion for a living thing. Having a pet also teaches students how to care for something else. Remembering to feed the animal, check on the animal, and clean up after the animal encourages responsibility. Another core element of Montessori education is grace and courtesy. Learning to handle a small animal must often be done with grace to avoid harming or scaring the animal. Over time, both the animal and the child benefit from grace because a sense of trust is established between the two. Finally, having a class pet is a great way to teach students to notice the world around them. The power of observation leads to curiosity, looking for patterns, research, and in some cases an answer to a bigger question of “why.” Pets extend our understanding of the world around us and are a great asset to the classroom. Our class pets include Lizzie the veiled chameleon in Ms. Sumi’s room, Dash the Leopard Tree Frog in Ms. Teresa’s room, Luna the four-year-old Mini Rex in Ms. Anne’s room, and Ryker another Mini Rex in Ms. Cassandra’s class.

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