On the Farm: Welcome Bindi & Dundee
I often wonder whether my articles shouldn’t be titled “At The Zoo” in light of the wide variety of animals here on Springmont’s campus. Of course, we have our favorite farm animals – the flock of chickens, goats Pickles and Pepper, and turkeys Franklin and Jenny, but did you know we also have bearded dragons, leopard geckos, frogs, parakeets, and fish? Having animals in classrooms is a cornerstone of Montessori philosophy because it teaches children about the interconnectedness of all things.
Feeding and cleaning up after pets (at home or in the classroom) helps children learn responsibility, self-confidence, and how to observe carefully, which serves them later in life when they study the sciences. They also learn to treat living things with respect and gentleness, which extends into their interactions with other people. Dr. Montessori noted that “Solicitous care for living things affords satisfaction to one of the most lively instincts of the child’s mind.”
This part of the Montessori philosophy is clearly embraced at every level at Springmont, including the Middle School that recently adopted two adorable sugar gliders! Bindi and Dundee came to us from someone who is relocating overseas soon. She is not a member of our immediate community but instantly recognized Springmont as somewhere her gliders would be well-loved and cared for! Her comment was, “they are the perfect pet for curious learners.”
Sugar gliders are marsupials native to Australia. Bindi and Dundee were captive-bred and are 6 years old. Sugar gliders have a long lifespan compared to other small creatures; they can live to be 12 years old! Sugar gliders make excellent pets for older children who can better handle the lively antics of these fantastic creatures. They are omnivores and can have a truly varied diet. They love most fruits and vegetables and will eat boiled eggs, chicken, and insects! Middle School students will have fun testing out new foods and figuring out what treats their new pets like best!
Bindi and Dundee currently reside in the Liberal Arts classroom, but once they have settled in, they will make the rounds to visit other classes so they can be formally introduced to everyone! See more photos on Facebook!