Classroom Animals and Pets - About the Teacher

Hello there!

A little something about me... ‘cause I’m the teacher, that’s why!
My name is Nora Boekhout and I’m a teacher in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada. I’ve "officially" taught children from 2 years old to grade 10 and have been involved in my own family daycare, and in preschools, kindergartens, private school, junior high school, and the elementary public school system. The Primary grades are my favorites, especially Grades 2 and 3. Animals are a part of my classroom and my homelife too. Good thing that my family is supportive! I must admit though, that our 19 year old son does think that I have gone a bit crazy on this “animal thing”.My redeeming factor is that I have entered the "modern era" by putting together this website!

Starting Out

My interest in starting a website began with my growing interest in “bugs”, the “Net”, and a recent upgrade to a new server program which happened to include, guess what... a “free” website! Teachers visiting my classroom had often suggested that I think about running some teacher “how to” programs, but there never seemed to be enough time (you know THAT feeling!) After many attempts to get some out-of-print “Critters in the Classroom” reproducibles, I started to wonder if anyone else was having the same problems. Friends, both on and off the Internet, supported the idea of organizing some information sharing... and here I am!
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Pets at Home

My pets at home currently include Dexter the dog (Bichon Frise), Jasmine the cat (Siamese/Himilayan cross) and her son, Buster (with an extra dose of Himilayan), Cleo the Timneh African Grey bird, Sticky the Madagascar Giant Day gecko (who is looking for a wife), Speedy and Spotty the pair of Leopard Geckos (Christmas and Mother’s Day presents), Preying Mantids (off and on), a pair of Giant African millipedes, and several varieties of Stick Insects. My husband and I also have a collection of about 20 birds (cockatiels, splendids, rosy bourkes, Pacific parrotlets, yellow and red-fronted kakarikis, canaries). We are hobby breeders, and handfeed the babies of the more “social” species. Of course I also have breeding cultures of crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, Kingworms, and so on... Hey! Can you guess how long it takes me to get everyone fed before school in the morning???

Classroom Pets

Our 1998/99 Classroom pets include Spike, our Teddy Bear hamster, our two new treefrogs (as yet unnamed!), several tropical fish, six giant African millipedes, several of my varieties of Stick insects, and an alternating weekly visit from one of the Leopard Geckos, Speedy and Spotty. Seasonal visitors include tadpoles-to-frogs, newts, snails, beetles, pillbugs, worms, Painted Lady butterflies and SO ON!
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Future Plans

I am interested in many types of animals and would always like to learn more! If I don’t have the answers to your questions, hopefully I can at least point you in a relevant direction and learn something new myself. Corresponding via e-mail has become a new addiction for me... especially since I joined several “bug clubs” residing in the U.S. and in England. (I’ve been getting particularly interested in stick insects over the past year.) It is really exciting to hear what other teachers are trying out and I love getting to actually “talk” to people with similar interests.

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Getting around in this Web site

This page revised December 1998.