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This teacher found a unique way to keep her students engaged with their class pets during quarantine

Jessie Brawner goes above and beyond to make virtual learning more comfortable

How cute are these little ducks?
How cute are these little ducks? (Jessie Brawner)

This story is a part of our "Something Good" series, which is designed to remind you of all the goodness in the world: the moments that can make you smile, feel warm inside and applaud humanity.


When schools shut down in the spring due to COVID-19, teachers across America had to get creative with how they would teach remotely.

Jessie Brawner, a second-grade teacher from Kissimmee, Florida, tried everything in her power to make at-home school as easy as possible for her students, and that meant keeping them up to date when it came to the growth of their quacky class pets, Finn, Daffy and Phoebe.

The three little ducklings were born Feb. 22, just a few weeks before the shutdowns started. Brawner said she wanted to make at-home learning as normal as possible, and that meant showing the ducklings’ growth.

Brawner’s second-grade class had been learning about the circle of life, so watching the ducks go from egg to hatchling was the perfect lesson. She said the students, at one point, had a hand in caring for the eggs while they were in incubators, and that included checking the temperature and humidity of the incubators, turning the eggs and misting them.

Since Brawner’s class loved caring for the ducklings, Brawner knew that once virtual learning started, she had to include the ducklings in her lessons.

“When we switched to virtual learning in March, I kept the ducklings at my home and frequently made videos or sent pictures -- even put the ducklings on Zoom for my class to see,” Brawner said.

Thanks to technology, Brawner’s second-grade students were able to see the ducklings grow into full, adult ducks.

Now they live in a pen next to their parent ducks, and teachers at the school tend to them.

“For now, myself and the other teachers and staff around the school feed them, give them showers and give them lots of Cheerios, their favorite snack,” Brawner said.

Brawner created a cute video showing the ducklings’ progress from hatchlings to full-grown ducks, and it’s too adorable not to watch. You can check it out below.

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