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Thread: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    Before I get flamed, the goal of adoption wouldn't be to keep the guineas in my classroom all day and night. It would be to a) rescue them b) bring them into MY home & make it their forever home.

    That said, I think it could provide a good opportunity for my students to have more interaction with an animal that I find amazing, smart and unique. We bought class fish (I know, this isn't the same but bear with me) at the beginning of the year and my littles have been extremely protective & loving. I have a very large counter that could be the base of a c&c cage.

    Ideally, right now, this is how I see this going down is: large c&c cage at my house for daily life, as well as room to free range. I'd then pick a day or two a week to bring them into our classroom.

    It would be a great learning process to have the students help me with cage making (measurements, etc). I'd take the time to show them the website I used to research cage space. I would also get a chance to talk to them about animal rescues and why I chose to adopt two instead of one. And other things like where they live naturally. They would be active participants in preparing the space, the same way they were in the setup of our fish tank.

    It's been years since I last owned my own guineas (Legolas & Gandolf), and I didn't think I would ever let guineas into my life again because it was just so hard when they passed away. I feel like I'm being given an opportunity to do something kind for these boys, and that my students could benefit as well.

    So, any ideas would be appreciated. Like I said, these wouldn't be typical classroom pets. More than anything I would like ideas on how to make them part of our classroom family without having them there full-time. Does it seem like an idea that could work?

    Our classroom environment is actually pretty quite, I have a laidback group this year. And this is my final year as a teacher, so after these next few months they guys would be staying put at my house.

    Seriously, any and all constructive feedback appreciated! The guineas happiness and health is always going to take top priority, and I wouldn't think about bringing them around my kiddos if I didn't think they could handle it.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    Ok, I think I found a perfect medium in an old post from Fay from another post a while back. I can still have my kiddos help me make a cage (math!), talk about rescue and everything else I wanted to do! And then we can set up some stuffies in the cage Once I get to know my little guys I may take them in for visits every now and again but that wouldn't be the goal.


    "Just something to think about but why can you not teach the children about guinea pig care without keeping them in the class room? You could just have a complete cage set up with stuffed toy guinea pigs in it.

    That way you could still teach them all the same things using the toys without it stressing out the pigs. If anything, you could explain why toys are used over live animals which teaches the kids that the animals well being should always go before what you want from them.

    That being a pet owner is about providing everything they need regardless of your own desires, even if that means you have to do something you don't like doing, like cleaning up after them.

    That, that is what you sign yourself upto when you own a pet and that could be a great lesson for the children in respecting animals rather than seeing them as play things for their own amusement."

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    Quote Originally Posted by angela_jane View Post
    Before I get flamed, the goal of adoption wouldn't be to keep the guineas in my classroom all day and night. It would be to a) rescue them b) bring them into MY home & make it their forever home.

    That said, I think it could provide a good opportunity for my students to have more interaction with an animal that I find amazing, smart and unique. We bought class fish (I know, this isn't the same but bear with me) at the beginning of the year and my littles have been extremely protective & loving. I have a very large counter that could be the base of a c&c cage.

    Ideally, right now, this is how I see this going down is: large c&c cage at my house for daily life, as well as room to free range. I'd then pick a day or two a week to bring them into our classroom.

    It would be a great learning process to have the students help me with cage making (measurements, etc). I'd take the time to show them the website I used to research cage space. I would also get a chance to talk to them about animal rescues and why I chose to adopt two instead of one. And other things like where they live naturally. They would be active participants in preparing the space, the same way they were in the setup of our fish tank.

    It's been years since I last owned my own guineas (Legolas & Gandolf), and I didn't think I would ever let guineas into my life again because it was just so hard when they passed away. I feel like I'm being given an opportunity to do something kind for these boys, and that my students could benefit as well.

    So, any ideas would be appreciated. Like I said, these wouldn't be typical classroom pets. More than anything I would like ideas on how to make them part of our classroom family without having them there full-time. Does it seem like an idea that could work?

    Our classroom environment is actually pretty quite, I have a laidback group this year. And this is my final year as a teacher, so after these next few months they guys would be staying put at my house.

    Seriously, any and all constructive feedback appreciated! The guineas happiness and health is always going to take top priority, and I wouldn't think about bringing them around my kiddos if I didn't think they could handle it.

    Thanks!
    I think that is a great idea. Piggies get a home and students get to learn.

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    Hi! I'm a vet tech, so I don't know anything about teaching grade school kids, but I think the idea of getting kids involved in the process of researching, adopting and preparing for the arrival of new pets and using it as a learning experience is excellent! I personally feel that's very important that kids are exposed to animals and learn about them at a young age. I think that pets provide a unique enrichment to the lives of their owners, but all too often I meet owners who don't seem to understand that a pet is not like a new toy, phone, game, or other forms of enrichment that we enjoy in our lives. A pet comes with responsibility, and it can't simply be put away on a shelf when you're bored of it and don't want to play with it anymore. I think it's great when someone knowledgeable takes the time to help teach children that animals are wonderful, unique creatures in their own right, different from humans, but that they are all worthy of our care and respect, just like any human person. I believe it helps kids grow into more caring, compassionate adults.
    Anyway, I'm sorry to go on, but I just mean to say that I give your idea two thumbs up!

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    Re: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    Thank you both!! Getting our aquarium and fish was a huge event! First I had our area "ropped off" with duct tape and had them guess what might go there. Then one day I brought in the aquarium but had it covered up, then they were able to make more guesses! Then after the "big reveal" we talked a lot about fresh water vs. salt water, the types of animals that live in each, etc. Then we did some research on what kind of fish might like to live in this new home. Who could live with who, how much money would they cost, what about decorations? What kind of envirmonment would give the fish a happy home (noisy, clean, etc)? I mean, it was a 3 week process before we even put water in the tank! Haha

    THEN! We did a penny drive! I told the students that together we would work together to buy things for our new fish. It was a great way to get them thinking about money and the cost of pet care. Finally, after research and penny counting I went to the store (wish they all could have come with) and got our new family members. I took pictures and then we wrote thank you letters to the customer service guy - he was amazing and so knowledgeable! Each week we have a different student in charge of feeding the fish. During free time I have several who like to go over and just watch them swimming around, drawing pictures and writing about them.

    I would love to take them through the process again, but I don't want to stress the little guys out. I figure that it'll take us a few weeks to get set up again, and by then I'll know my new piggies personalities. I also think it's important that they are given opportunities to learn about proper pet care, and taking care of animals and the environment in general. I do want to help mold caring, compassionate adults!!

    Thanks again for your feedback!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    Hi! Just wondering what grade these students are in? From my experience younger kids can be kind of grabby. But I do think this is a wonderful idea! This is a great way to also introduce them to responsibility!

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    Quote Originally Posted by angela_jane View Post

    I would love to take them through the process again, but I don't want to stress the little guys out. I figure that it'll take us a few weeks to get set up again, and by then I'll know my new piggies personalities.
    Giving the pigs a few weeks first to adjust to their new home before bringing them into school is a good idea. Are you going to have a single C&C cage that you transport between home and school or are you going to build two separate cages: one to stay at home and one to stay in the classroom?

    Btw, your class sounds like a lot of fun! Math, environmental science, and money management all at the same time - I love it!
    Last edited by LittleSqueakers; 03-15-17 at 04:34 pm.

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    Cavy Slave nikdarg's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    I think the exposure is a fantastic idea so long as the kids know the expectations and rules about the piggies.

    I also really like the idea of only having them in the classroom one or two days a week. I could see the kids getting overly excited on those days though so perhaps having some sort of barrier like you did with the fish would be a good idea.

    It seems like you are taking steps and understand how to lower the stress of the guinea pigs by making sure they have a few weeks at home and such, so I think this would be a great opportunity to teach the students that guinea pigs and any pet is not just a toy. Great work! Let us know if you end up doing it. I would love to hear some of the results.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Advice for teacher who has been offered the chance to adopt two males

    I think it's a good idea- it was a classroom pig who first got me interested in piggies myself, and if she'd been taken better care of, I would have known to give my first pigs more room.

    I think that piggy care could also interact with history- they were first domesticated by the Inca in South America, and ancient empires are often good social studies projects. Feeding them could also be a good health project! You could come up with a way for different kids to bring in different veggies from a pig-safe list, and learn about what foods are good for them.

    I also recommend sharing lots of pictures of them with the class on the days when the pigs aren't there, to keep them on the kids' minds.


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