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Tails, Scales, and Whiskers: The Adventures of Our School’s Pet’s!

Get to know the diverse pets that reside within the walls of MHS.

Muscatine High School has a unique set of pets that roam the halls and swim around…

Teachers Lukavsky, Bobay, Yoose, and Schlabowske have pets that they bring to the school every day or multiple times a week.

Lukavsky and her dog Leia:

Ms. Lukavsky is an experienced Pre-AP English 10 teacher who joined our school community approximately two years ago. She is a passionate and dedicated educator who loves to create a warm and welcoming learning environment for her students.

One unique aspect of Ms. Lukavsky’s classroom is that she often brings her beloved pet, a friendly and well-behaved golden doodle, to school with her. Her furry companion adds a touch of comfort and relaxation to the classroom, making it a safe and nurturing space for students to learn and grow.

“She comes two or three times a week. Kids like her a lot. Some students will be having a bad day and they come into the classroom and just ask me ‘Hey can I see your dog’. It’s a positive interaction. She calms me down too, and it’s a calming thing for a lot of kids that come into my classroom.

However, it is to be mentioned that some negatives come along with having a pet in the classroom.

Lukavsky said, “If she has a lot of energy, she could be hard to take care of, or she would get energized to see Ms. Borde get a treat. Also if I have stuff after school she has to go to her kennel to wait for me.”

“She is still a puppy, so she’s going through a lot of training. She has to take a test soon to get therapy certified. Some days if she’s asleep and someone walks in she barks, it could scare someone. I have a student who can get allergic reactions sometimes so other teachers house her if I bring her multiple days,” said Lukavsky.

“My mom works in Cedar Rapids and they have to have all this paperwork and take a test, as well as get approved by the board and everything. Like if every single person brought a pet and some weren’t used to students there could be a lot of issues, but he’s been around students since she was born and it has been a lot easier she is easier to manage and easier for me,” said Lukavsky.

Getting an energized pet and bringing it to school is a choice that a teacher has to be very selective about. But Lukavsky has got it figured out.

Mr. Bobay and his fish:

Mr. Bobay is a pet lover and has a diverse collection of animals in his classroom. Unlike most pet owners who prefer high-energy pets like dogs and cats, Mr. Bobay has opted for a different kind of pet. His collection includes a variety of creatures such as fish. Despite their low-energy nature, each of his pets are loved by the students in his classroom.

“I have koi, guppies, and shrimp, and snails,” said Bobay. “I got them for my classroom about a year and a half ago. I recommend that teachers get pets in their classrooms.”

“It helps make a connection with students, maybe they have pets and they talk about it” said Bobay.

Ms. Yoose and her cat Sunny:

Ms. Yoose is an AP physics and calculus teacher. With the hard nature of the classes, having something to brighten the mood is necessary, for that classroom it’s Ms. Yoose’s cat, Sunny.

“One positive is that she is very calming and Sunny has a very good interaction with kids and they look forward to seeing her and petting her. Smiles on test days if she walks around but you also don’t usually see kids smiling on a test day,” said Ms. Yoose. “Allergies might be a little bit of the negative, but I have permission from the kiddos that have allergies and I make sure everyone that is in the room has okayed it because I don’t want anyone in the room to have a super bad allergic reaction.”

Ms. Yoose feels the benefits outweigh the potential cons.

“It improves the student’s mood in the classroom and if somebody has an improved mood they do improved work,” said Ms. Yoose.

Ms. Schlabowske and her gecko and turtle:

“I have two pets. I have a leopard gecko named Beckett who is 1.5 years old. Beckett is super sweet and if she is in a good mood she loves to be held by my students and receive attention.”Said Ms. Schlabowske

However, in her classroom, there is also a rather aggressive pet…

“The other classroom pet I have is a painted turtle named Winston who we guess is around 2.5 years old. Winston is not the brightest… and is not allowed to have any friends with him in his tank because he thinks they are his snack for the day,” said Ms. Schlabowske.

Ms. Schlabowske understands that science might not be all student’s favorite subject, but having a classroom pet can be motivating to students who may struggle with just getting through the door.

The negative thing about having classroom pets, is that sometimes they can be a distraction in class. Oftentimes students want to hold or feed the animals when it isn’t a good time during class. I would definitely recommend that other teachers have pets in their classroom, because they give the students something to look forward to. They might even give the teacher some comfort and joy in taking care of an animal.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Ford
Kaitlyn Ford, Sports Editor
Kaitlyn Ford is a Junior staff member for the Auroran Today at Muscatine High School! Outside of MHS, she loves to spend time with her friends or lay with her cat! Reading is a favorite hobby of hers and she has a big collection of books!
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