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Waco teacher gets nationally recognized for her pets in the classroom

Harmony School of Innovation teacher Haven Goodmanson placed second in the Pets in the Classroom Contest
Posted at 9:30 AM, Jun 04, 2024

WACO, Texas (KXXV) — Waco teacher Haven Goodmanson has a unique learning technique: having pets in the classroom. She entered a video in a contest because of it and placed second in the nation.

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It’s a unique contest with a unique purpose.

“It was kind of their idea to do a rainy introduction because they say class isn’t as fun, it’s a little more boring without our pets in it,” said Biomedics teacher at Harmony School of Innovation in Waco, Haven Goodmanson.

Goodmanson entered the Pets in the Classroom success story video contest, placing second in the country.

“Their goal is to help get pets in teaching classrooms. They believe that it helps the kids and it creates a lot of value. The kids learn to care for the animals, so their goal is to help with financially with that,” Goodmanson said.

Helping kids like recent graduate Shyian Tovar, who’s now pursuing a career as a veterinary technician.

“It made me want to learn more about the animals. It made me want to be more involved to help them. They’re not as different as we think we are,” Shyian said.

Wanting to make a difference in the world that started in the classroom.

“It also helps for kids who can’t focus. Just to hold an animal it helps you calm down, just to relax and focus,” Shyian said.

Whether it’s this snake, or bearded dragon, Pets in the Classroom aims for a better, more therapeutic environment that makes learning more fun and memorable.

“They add so much happiness to the classroom. I really like how that sets the tone for the day where everybody comes in and is excited. I think it makes it a really special place,” Goodmanson said.