Finding You at the Zoo

By Joel Katte

Finding You at the Zoo

Have you ever struggled to be you?

As you meander through the pages of “FINDING YOU AT THE ZOO”, you will experience the National Zoo in 1971 through the stunning images of Tuska and the vibrant, inspirational language of Joel Katte. Through this blend of words and imagery, you will discover some age-old principles that the animals will guide you through, stimulating that inner urge to be more you!

Times are tough. Life will knock you down. You may end up in a place you never imagined. Every day you must get up, rise up, and dance forward! You are called to be you, the truest you, and the world needs you now more than ever to radiate your true essence.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”

Read closely, lean in, and listen as these beautiful, wise animals inspire you to be the shining star that you are!

Your life is not just about you. You exist because of the ones who came before you, and you exist for the ones destined to live and thrive after you.
Most important to remember is that you are here for the ones who are with you now. Your power and magic is in the present moment. So “let your paws pause” and be still, so you can hear your calling and respond with your roar for the world.

Mark time. Make your mark. March on!

About the Author

Joel Katte

Joel Katte has been an educator since 2001 and a staff developer and speaker since 2013. His professional learning experience IGNITE #loveinschools is positively transforming school cultures. It is helping educators achieve greater work-life harmony and maximize their relationships and moments with students, colleagues, families, and community members. The positive energy that emerges from IGNITE #loveinschools instantly catapults school cultures to greater levels.
Joel is an experienced secondary school English teacher, elementary school principal, and alternative schools district administrator who has served students of all ages in both urban and rural settings. He has served the most at-promise students as well as the most gifted.
For more information on how you can invite Joel and IGNITE #loveinschools to your school, district, conference, family night, or student assembly, visit:

Joel Katte

Illustrations by


Artist Educator Tuska (1931–1998) spent his career at the University of Kentucky as a teacher’s teacher inspiring his students to observe, create, and be themselves. As a working artist, he drew every day. Some drawings were preliminary to cast in bronze. Others found their destiny in formed clay, wax, wood, and a myriad of pioneered
mediums. Still others evolved. Some were their own fruition. All were explorations. Most were of the human form, movement, and balance. Each engaged him endlessly, day after day, except for one day in 1973. On that day, Tuska drew animals, having been inspired by a trip with his two sons to the National Zoo in Washington, DC.

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High School Extension Questions/Facilitation Guide

Developed by Zoë Jenkins

Civics 2030 Steering Committee, Podcast Producer at Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, Founder of DICCE