"The 11th official activity of the Erasmus + project «Artemotion Xpress in Europe» is called «Pet time Happy time». It was chosen to take place after the completion of the short term joint staff training and learning event in Ptuj, Slovenia, as we attended an introductory seminar on the use of pets, especially dogs, at school and in the classroom. Our Slovenian partners use trained therapeutic dogs regularly and observe enormous changes in their pupils” behavior, notably in feelings, concentration, sociability.
So we organized a week where each day teachers brought their pets at school. Everyday the students had the opportunity to get in touch with animals like dogs, rabbits, turtles, birds. It is a fact that all pupils were enthusiastic, happy and interactive with the pets. Even the most «severe» children cared for the animals and smiled with the tactile stimulus.
The objectives of our activity:
- Contact – acquaintance of teachers’ pets with the pupils
- Monitor the reactions and feelings developed by the contact with the pets
- Express these feelings through paintings and words
On the following video you can watch the feelings and reactions of our pupils from their contact with the pets.
Research and observation of pets in the classroom prove:
- Pets aid in improving school attendance – Students become excited about school because they get to see their animal friends.
- Pets encourage nurturing – Kids soon learn that if they want their classroom pet to be happy and healthy, they’ll need to treat it carefully and kindly.
- Pets build self esteem – Helping to take care of a pet gives a child a sense of pride and accomplishment.
- Pets promote empathy – By caring for a pet, children develop an increased awareness of the needs and feelings of others, and see how their actions affect their little friends.
- Pets teach responsibility – Having to take care of a pet builds a sense of responsibility in children.
- Pets stimulate learning – When classroom pets are included in the lesson plan, students will approach learning with a new enthusiasm and interest.
- Pets enrich the classroom experience – Not only do pets bring a new excitement for learning, but they provide a warm and welcoming environment for students.
- Pets become friends. Pets provide kids with unconditional love and support. They become a confidant and a non-judgmental friend."