Living and teaching in southern California has its advantages. One of my favorite things about our school buildings is that there are no indoor hallways. Every classroom opens to the great outdoors. We have a grassy area just outside my classroom with a scrub oak right in the middle. I have watched that oak grow over the years into a nice shade tree which is home to many kinds of birds.
year we had one of those birds join us in the classroom. This is not unusual
but that particular year there was a boy in my class who had a great tough-guy
act. (I teach 6th grade so my kiddos are just starting to try out their
the bird flew in, he scoffed at the students who were shrieking and ducking as
it buzzed by their heads. He made a very loud declaration that everyone was
"It's just a little bird," he said.
Just as he said it
the bird clipped by the boy's head, we heard the most high-pitched shriek of
them all, and suddenly the boy had disappeared under his desk cowering because of that
he was easy-going about it. He learned to laugh at himself a little bit more
and that he didn't have to be the tough guy all the time. It helped me remember
that even though kids try to act tough they are still kids. The
"toughest" ones are usually the ones that need the most love and