I'd like to speak as a former wildlife rescuer/volunteer and kindergarten teacher so that your classroom experience will be as good as possible. I rescued injured and orphaned wildlife, but also worked with domestic exotics like chickens, ducks, and rabbits. Kids need experience with critters, especially children who aren't being shown empathy in any other way, like at home. It's almost vital. Classroom pets are such a great idea, for some kinds of animals! But not chicks. They don't go to live out their days on a farm. Most are just thrown away, especially the boys. I mean, literally thrown away. That is the awful reality. And for the ones who do go to farms, on most chicken farms, they'll live crammed in indoor, sunless cages for a bit, then be killed.
Rabbits are horrible classroom pets, too, because they shouldn't be caged animals. Some of the most sensitive and loving ones will develop "cage aggression", lunging to bite, considering everyone who reaches in to be a predator. It comes from loneliness, which they can get even with a few dozen kids outside of the cage. And having them loose means being responsible for rabbit-proofing (covering up electrical cords, protection from dogs, and in the case of a baby rabbit, cats (you do NOT want to see that happen - I have), etc.
And any kind of critter that needs to be passed around on the weekends, shouldn't be a classroom pet. You know from being a teacher how homes aren't dependably positive and trustworthy places. When I taught, I hated sending some of those kids home to the not-so-nice parents they had. But since sending an animal home with them would have been under my control, I wouldn't have ever done it. Even in the best homes, a lot of those classroom pets get killed over the weekend by over-enthusiastic kids and their pets.
So just giving you my input and experience, I hope it helps!
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