September 26, 2018
School is back in session, fall is upon us, and teachers are back for another year of inspiring children. Here at the Zoo, I am preparing for two of my favorite things—fall field trips and Teacher Appreciation Day.
The Zoo is a beautiful place to visit in the fall. The cooler weather means that many of the animals are more active. We have many deciduous trees on grounds that turn amazing colors and provide a stunning backdrop for observing the animals. I especially enjoy an afternoon stroll through the Zoo where I can hear the male African lion, Chester, defend his territory, successfully as always.
We have several schools that always plan their field trips to the Zoo for the fall. I love that we get to help teachers kick off their students’ learning in such a unique way. Many of these schools enhance their visit to the Zoo by booking an Expedition or Animal Presentation. Both programs are taught by Zoo staff and meet Next Gen and New York State science learning standards. We use an inquiry-based approach during these programs, so the students are actively participating in learning about animals and conservation.
On Monday, October 8th (Columbus Day) we will host our second-annual Teacher Appreciation Day. This is a special event where we showcase all the ways that teachers can use the Zoo as an outdoor classroom. Teachers receive free admission to the Zoo and a poster that highlights our formal education programs. They will have an opportunity to meet Zoo educators and see what it would be like for their students to experience the Zoo in a new way.
Fall is an exciting time of year full of new beginnings for teachers, students, and Seneca Park Zoo. Enjoy new experiences and spark your students’ curiosity by planning a trip to the Zoo.
– Gretchen Spencer, School and Group Programs Coordinator