Last year, I chose to stay on the east coast for Thanksgiving, but again, friends and local "family" thoughtfully included so many people that I can't remember all their names. The laughs and the love complimented the incredible food we shared perfectly.
This year was different once again. Back in September, my mom let me know that a family friend was getting married in Florida on November 17th, and that she’d be staying for Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to miss the wedding, and I wanted to stay for Thanksgiving as well, but it meant that I would have to take several days off from work. I spoke with my administrators, and we brainstormed possible ways to work despite being away from my physical classroom. Our solution wasn’t particularly revolutionary, but it was certainly effective.
The Naples Zoo is home to several endangered species native to Malaysia and southeast Asia, and for such a small zoo, they do a phenomenal job disseminating information and raising awareness about their conservation efforts. My administrators and I decided that I would create a lesson that:
- incorporated information about these endangered species,
- enabled my students to do a bit of research about causes of various species’ endangered status,
- included photographs, videos, and keeper interviews that I provided,
- offered real-time conversations with a Q&A that I set up with my Teaching Intern back in New York City via Google Hangouts Meet,
- empowered students to brainstorm solutions to address the needs of multiple stakeholders in this part of the world.