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Old 09-11-2013, 08:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Classroom visits?

I have a twelve week old male hedgehog named Jeffrey. I was recently asked by a family friend if he could do classroom visits, I automatically wanted to jump at the opportunity. But, I am not sure if he is ready yet. He is still not overly social and plus he is still quilling. He's okay with me picking him up as long as I don't do it every ten seconds. A good thing though is that he is not super nocturnal so he is active during the day. The classroom visit would be for kindergartners. Any suggestions? Yes or no?
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would wait until he's done quilling at least. I have a kindergartener and a second grader, and their teachers (as well as others in the school) want me to bring Gertie in for visits. I told them I will, but they'll need to wait. Gertie's going through her 9-week quilling right now, and even as sociable as she is, and even though she's not particularly grumpy with her quilling, there's no way I'd put her through more stress at this juncture. Sure, it might be fine, and honestly, it probably would be fine. But if I wait until she's done quilling, I know that at least that's one less stress on her.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll be sure to wait till he's done quilling; thanks for helping me out!
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've done class room visits with one of my hedgehogs, but he was a really social guy. All the kids could just pet him without any problems and we usually stayed about two hours so I could talk about hedgehogs and let the children ask questions - it's a lot of fun. The kids love it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you feel comfortable bringing your hedgehog in that's up to you. As a teacher though I would say be sure to have instructions for how the kids should behave. Not because kids are crazy but because they will be SO excited! I would tell them things like whisper, and move slow or they might scare him. I would also show them how to pet the hedgehog before they try. I have yet to bring the hedgehog to class but with other animals this has worked well.

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Old 09-13-2013, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Pindsvin has become an excellent classroom hedgehog. I waited until he was 5 months old before I started showing him to kids. I wanted to know him first and foremost. I also wanted him to know me the best and associate me with safety. That way, when it came time to slowly introduce him to other people (I took it slow), he wouldn't ball up because he knew he was safe. When it came time to actually show him to a large group of kids, I just made sure to remind them not to put their fingers right in front of his face (I didn't want to risk him biting anyone curiously), and even with a group of early elementary kids (summer reading program's theme was "Dig into reading") Pindsvin did very well.

Though he is really relaxed doing that (no huffing at all, just his usual sniffing of everything), it is a stressful thing to the poor little guy. His poop is always green afterwards, and he get really grumpy the few days after. So I just let him be, and give him time to himself before going back our regularly scheduled routine.

Just make sure when you start to show him, think about your hedgie's feelings (if you were in his shoes in other words) and make sure you know his personality and quirks before you show him. Also make sure you have everything you need for his mobile cage (if you want to use a different one than what you'll have at home, I have a half-size cage that has all he needs).

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Old 10-29-2013, 04:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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During my last round of Student Teaching, Harper came with me to school often. She usually sleeps in my sweater or in a Hedgie bag (yay volcanoview!). I taught the grade 1/2, 3/4, 5, & 7/8 classes. She would only ever actually interact with one class in a day, and when that happened the kids had to stay in their desks and I came around with her to them so they weren't running and scaring her. The kids loved her, and since it was limited and controlled it didn't seem to bother her at all!
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I am also a student-teacher. I was recently asked if Dakarai would be a classroom pet. My biggest fear is that there would be too much noise and too many hands all coming at him from many directions. Imagine the overwhelming amount of smells that kids have on their hands!

As cavalcante suggested, make sure that there are rules associated with the visits. I know it sounds odd but perhaps you could have students think about the rules they already have at home with their own pets. This could lay the ground rules - and allow students to feel as if they are more in control.

Oh and I'd highly suggest washing hands before they reach out to touch the hedgie. If they had just eaten lunch perhaps the may smell like lunch meat and then . . . one mistaken finger for a meal is sending a child to the health office.

I don't know, I'd love to take Dakarai to my next classroom but after having taught in a Montessori classroom of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders, I couldn't imagine my little quilled friend being excited with all that exposure. However, it would be a great lesson using tactile senses to understand the world around your Kindergarten class. My best advice, is to plan ahead. Oh also, make sure the temperature is warm enough. We are headed into winter and I'd hate for Jeffrey to get chilled walking from your car to the classroom.

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