During the pandemic, I know remote learning was a HUGE adjustment for kids and their way of life in school. This one teacher in Seattle had to get creative to make it a little fun for his class since he knew they were missing out on a awesome opportunity to go to the Zoo in person.
When Garrett Talcott, a kindergarten teacher who lives in Seattle, took his class on a virtual field trip to the zoo earlier this month, he never anticipated the lesson would go viral.
In a TikTok video that has racked up more than 800,000 views, Talcott walked around Woodland Park Zoo carrying his computer, as his class of 27 kindergarten students eagerly tagged along.
“I was excited to take them all there,” Talcott told TODAY Parents. “There is a lot we can learn from the zoo. Our school is brand new, we’re in our third year, and we don’t currently do a field trip to the zoo. Myself, living ten minutes away from the zoo, and teaching remotely, I wanted to use those resources.”
In a second video, Talcott points out animals, asks his students about habitat, talks what the animals are eating, and even encourages them to read signs.
“This is a great trip!” one student can be heard exclaiming.
“And we can still see the animals!” another shouted.
Talcott said the class had started learning about habitats that Monday and the idea to visit the zoo was born. He called the zoo ahead of time to make sure the visit was OK and to ensure wireless internet capabilities.
“They were like — come on down!” Talcott said. “The thought was rather than showing videos, let’s bring the zoo to the students. Teachers are the experts in their areas. How great to bring them to the zoo and learn directly from zookeepers.”
Like many schools across the country, Ella Baker Elementary in Redmond, Washington, transitioned to virtual learning last year as the coronavirus pandemic spread and Talcott began streaming lessons from his apartment.