|Pointing out the Rock Pigeon on the roof|
|Russ answering questions in the field|
Russ comes to North Shore Elementary every fall and gives a presentation to each classroom on birds (4th graders) and owls (5th graders). He is a gift to our school and to the many other schools that he visits. He has actually visited hundreds of classrooms and never tires of a student or a question. Russ has spread this love of birds to thousands of people both young and old.
All of Russ' work educating us on birds is really rather incredible, but he shares more than his bird knowledge with us-- he shares a model of good living. We have a lot of programs trying to tell students how live . . . how to be kind or how to do the right thing or how to treat people right. . . Here's what I think. . . It's people like Russ that show us how to live. And it is people like Russ that change the world for the better. . . one child, one bird, one teacher at a time. Russ exemplifies the notion that no question is too small, no child is unimportant and that everyone has a place and can learn. And he exemplifies the art of generosity, both with time and birdseed (I have a huge stash of sunflower seeds from him for our schoolyard birdfeeders). Many years ago a wonderful mentor of mine (Marianne Hueston) told me, "You teach who you are." As an seasoned (some might even say old) teacher, I have learned over and over again that this is true and very wise. If we genuinely want to teach children curiosity, kindness and generosity we need to model those traits. Teaching doesn't happen from talking (or testing) it happens from being. A huge thank you to Russ for his many teaching gifts! I'm looking forward to next year!