There she was on the playground, a tiny baby bird who could not yet fly. The children saw her first. Above was an enormous tree. The branches were far out of reach. If there was a nest way up there, we had no way of returning the bird.
Ryan, get me the blue shovel with the long handle from the sandbox. I can gently scoop her up and bring her to the other side of the fence. Don’t worry, I won’t touch her feathers.
The baby bird chirped and chirped, never stopping for a moment.
Why is she chirping? Maybe she misses her mama. Where is her mama?
I don’t know. We have to get this baby off of the playground so her mama can find her.
Children held their breath as I gently put the blue shovel under the bird to scoop her up. Instead of getting onto the shovel, the bird fluttered onto my hand! Oh, no! And she would not leave, no matter what I did or said.
She thinks you’re her mama.
Yes, she thought I was her mama. And Mama Jennie had to rescue this baby. I took her to the edge of the woods while children clung to the playground fence, watching. I was finally able to coax baby bird off my hand with the help of a nearby stick. Whew!
When we went back to the classroom we read the book, Are You My Mother?
It was the perfect book. We scrapped the lesson plans and talked about birds, babies, and mothers. Later that day we checked the spot where I released the baby bird. She was gone! Thank goodness.
Every wondrous moment in teaching has a lesson to be learned.