My friend Ali teaches fourth graders in my home state of Maine. A few weeks ago she posted a request to the teacher crowdfunding site DonorsChoose.org looking for some magazine subscriptions she could share with her students. Being the selfless, helpful friend that I am, I chipped in to help the project along. Soon after I was updated via email that my contribution, along with others, had helped the complete the project: the kids would be getting their magazines. Good deed done.
But teachers being teachers and kids being kids, my meager contribution would not go un-thanked. In fact, Ali (ahem, Ms. Roberts) told her students a few facts about me and had them write honest-to-goodness Thank You notes. One of the facts about me Ms. Roberts told her kids was that I liked birds, and into my mailbox today arrived a set of lovely notes, fretted over and laboriously colored and spelled out by a bunch of innocent nine-year-olds. On some of them were drawings of birds.
The worst bird drawings I've ever seen.
Look, I'm not here to pile on to the American educational system. I'm sure these kids are trying as hard as they can. But the fact the remains that none of the "birds" these kids drew resemble anything close to a real species. Have any of them even seen a bird before? Isn't there a window they can look out of?
Maybe we should just take it one bird at a time.
Look, these kids are sweethearts for trying, but clearly the systemic cuts to STEM courses have prevented them from learning anything about actual bird species. PLEASE CLICK HERE AND DONATE TO MS. ROBERTS' CLASS, maybe she can buy them some dang field guides.