Melissa Nicholson takes “teacher’s pet” to a whole new level. This Florida first grade teacher brings two classroom pigs into school with her every single day. Prissy and Pop have quite the following on Instagram. When we first came across their Dr. Seuss photo, we instantly fell in love. So we had to contact this teacher for ourselves.
Are they really classroom pets? Do they actually go into the classroom every day? Are they really as adorable as they seem? Read on for the answers …
Tell us more about your pigs! How old are they?
Prissy is the girl, and she’s about 4 years old. Poppleton is the boy (he goes by Pop), and he’s 3.
What kind of pigs are they?
They are mini pigs, so they are at their full size. They’re also hypoallergenic, so anyone can be around them. I love these kind of pigs. They’re very smart. They’re easy to potty-train. They don’t sweat. And they’re very clean animals.
Do they really go into the classroom with you every day?
Yes! Every once in a while I have a day where I have to stay long or have to be somewhere after school, so then I don’t take them. But otherwise, they always go to school with me.
How did you start taking the pigs into school?
It was kind of a joke at first. I had a pig in my hands and sent a picture of me holding it to my principal with the question, “Class pet?” Surprisingly, she said yes, and the rest is history. One fall, Prissy was going in with me every day, and then by spring break, they were both going. They like being together, so it works out great.
How does it work with them in the classroom?
They’re great. They mostly lay around. They’re potty-pad-trained and go to the bathroom when the kids are out of the room. Otherwise, they have snack with us when we have snack, and they’re just there as part of the day.
Do they ever get involved?
I try to incorporate them into as many different learning activities as possible. They’re great when we’re learning math—measurement, weight and other lessons. My students also like to read to the pigs. They’re so expressive, and it helps the kids gain confidence in their reading. I’ve even had parents tell me the pigs are the reason their child likes to read.
Prissy and Pop have their own book, right?
Yes they do. The pigs have gotten to be kind of famous on social media, especially Instagram. So now Prissy & Pop: Big Day Out is my picture book, with actual pictures of them.
How can we keep up with Prissy and Pop’s adventures?
What do you say, teachers? Would you ever try a pig for a classroom pet?