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Posted by John on October 16, 1998 at 01:59:49:
In Reply to: Herps in School posted by Mike on October 14, 1998 at 08:49:02:
: I'm glad this forum is up. I requested it about a week ago and for it to be up this soon, others must have requested it also.
: I am a longtime snake keeper (I am thirtysomething)and can create some decent, aesthetically pleasing cages, so housing them in the classroom is no problem. I will graduate from college in just over a year and plan on teaching science related classes and having many herps in the classroom. What I would like to get out of this site is what works and what doesn't work in the classroom. Having herps in the classroom is great, but I want students to do more than just look at them and say, "Wow! That looks great!." I want them to be able to get more out of the experience. I look forward to hearing from teachers who have had experience (good and bad) in the classroom with herps. I hope to hear about how to deal with administration in this matter, liability problems, how to integrate the animals with lessons, etc....
: I hope this forum gets a lot of response once people find out about it.
Im not a teacher so I can't guide you about liability etc. but when I went to high school
my biology teacher had snakes in the classroom.
There was enough snakes that each student was assigned a snake to take care of for a semester or quarter. There was actually extra snakes and these could be chosen for extra credit. We were responsible for all care and maintenance as well as record keeping for our charges. We kept feeding, shed, cleaning records etc. In addition at the end of the semester/quarter we had to turn in a report on the species or subspecies that we kept. Back then (mid thirtysomthing now)the report was limited to some natural history and misc. Now it could include more emphasis on conservation, destruction of habitat, and a lot more info on care and breeding than avail. in my day. Even though I'd been keeping snakes for years before then it gave me a greater appreciation for them, they became more than something to just look at, and learning the record keeping responsibilites is really helpful now that I keep and breed many snakes(high school must have impacted me more than I thought). In a building specially built behind the science dept. we also raised the feeder mice. Also in this locked building in individual locking cages were kept all the species/subspecies of CA rattlesnakes as well as some from out of state with all proper permits. allthough that's probably way outside liability issues nowadays.
I think you have a great idea and hope you are able to follow through on it. Good Luck