Teacher’s Pet

February 23, 2021


Animals light up teachers’ lives and help them through isolation

We asked teachers to send in pictures of their pets along with an explanation of how the animal helps them in their profession.




Jasper is a COVID dog. I got him just before quarantine in March. He helped me go throughout that time. He helps me to relax after work.

Veronique Gagnon
Grade 2, Ecole du Nouveau-Monde, Calgary




Remi loves to cuddle and has a bouncy, sweet, loving personality. She is the best cure for stress and the Sunday Scaries.

Erin Kadis
Grade 2, David Thomas King School, Edmonton




Chester can sense stress from the moment I park in the garage. If I have had a bad day, he will wait on the couch like he is inviting me to cuddle up and relax. 

Chester helps me focus on the moment and reminds me to find the fun in everything. During at-home learning, he became Monsieur Chester and helped teach music, and was an example of how to complete assignments. The students loved any lesson that included him.

Crystal Brophy
K-6 music, École Broxton Park School, Spruce Grove




Rambo’s capacity to form affectionate relationships with others and his easygoing disposition makes him the best pet. Contrary to his name, Rambo is the sweetest, gentlest assistant. He has helped me stay connected to my students during online learning. He encourages the students to participate and to try their best.

Alexandra Gravel
Grades 1 and 2 French immersion, École Campbelltown, Sherwood Park




My name is Gus. I’m a 30-year-old male Congo African Grey parrot. Mommy talks about me all the time when teaching her Grade 7s! It worked out really well that she was teaching “Interactions and Ecosystems” (whatever that means) because I got to be an example in her lessons about food webs, adaptations and human interactions! Sometimes when she is focusing too hard, I ask her “are you okay?” I also make kissing noises so she knows I love her. I am very good at keeping Mommy active during quarantine because I like to run around growling like a dog and chew on things I shouldn’t. 

Ilana Manning
Grade 7 math and science, Dr. Martha Cohen School, Calgary




My cats Milo and Millie always like to stand on my laptop at home when I’m trying to work.

Jessica Sellin
Humanities, physical education, JV girls volleyball coach, Camrose Composite High School, Camrose




I have 11 pets on my acreage: five cats, three goats, one dog, one rabbit and one guinea pig. 

All my animals are special as they all are unique in their own ways. They help me with my pursuit of my education degree by allowing me to stop and enjoy the small moments. I can clear my head by spending time with my animals and come back to lesson planning with a clear head. They are the balance that this demanding career requires.

Justine Wilton
Preservice teacher/practicum student, Southview School, Medicine Hat




When I’m not teaching, I foster cats and kittens for the Barrhead Animal Rescue Society (BARS), where I have helped rescue more than 100 cats and kittens. Rascal is what we call a “foster fail,” or a foster who never leaves. 

Rascal was my teacher assistant when we were teaching our students online at the end of last year. He was with me for every Google Meet with my students. He even helped me teach students about the needs of animals for a science video we posted on our Google Classroom. Rascal is always by my side, no matter if I’m writing lesson plans or talking to my students. He’s an amazing emotional support for me.

Toni Liber
Substitute teacher, Pembina Hills School Division




I have two chocolate labs named Sif and Odin. My pets are special to me because they give me the best “light ups” when I get home from work. No matter how my day was, my dogs greet me with love and excitement. 

My dogs help me in my profession by reminding me how important the light up is. I try my best every day to give my kids a great light up to help them feel welcome and cared for in our classroom.

Tracey MacNeil
Grade 3, École Percy Pegler School, Okotoks

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