The Curious Incident of the Bird in the Daytime

So if you have me on Snapchat, you have heard this story already.

And that is the story of my high school 3rd graders (high school seniors)  killing a small bird in the middle of class for basically no reason what so ever.

Here we go:

So for those of you that don’t know Korea is actually really hot. Especially the city where I live. In Daegu it’s about 85-100 degrees every day and they don’t believe in air conditioning unless you’re dying. So to combat the heat, they will just open the windows.

I’m teaching 3rd grade aka my high school seniors, we’re on the 4th floor and all the windows are open. My co-teacher asked me for the first ten minutes of class to talk about a field trip, or exams or something, I’m not really sure. So this meant she was at the front of the class, and I was just chilling doing my thing at the back. She had the class’s attention and I was just waiting for my turn.

While she was talking a bird must have flown into the hallway and then somehow hopped into our classroom.

Now, as a person who as seen a bird before, this wasn’t that concerning to me. It was a small bird. I figured someone might see it, we might acknowledge it, we might laugh, and then we’d all move on with our lives. Because you know, we’ve all seen birds before? Right?


My co-teacher and one of my student’s see the bird at the same time.

And oh my god.

Chaos just ensues.

These people went crazy. These 17/18 year-old man-children start freaking out, jumping on chairs, jumping on desks, jumping on each other. My co-teacher flies from the room to get the student resource police officer who patrols our high school. And I’m like what is he gonna do? Shoot the bird? The bird’s the size of a golf ball. What’s happening?

And I’m trying to tell the kids “It’s okay! It’s okay! 괜찮아~ 괜찮아!” (괜찮아 = Gwen-chan-ha = “It’s okay” in Korean) They are just NOT having it. They keep screaming Laura-쌤! Laura-쌤! 새! 새! 새!” (Laura Teacher! Laura Teacher! Bird! Bird! Bird!)

And I am trying to remain calm, telling them, “It’ll leave on it’s own! It’ll fly out on its own! All of the windows are open! It’s more scared of you!”

And then one of my students grabs a broom.

So as I watch the student grab the broom I resign myself to the fact that I have lost control. I just think Well, there goes my lesson on syntax.

It’s so loud that other teachers come over to see what is happening, and they all freak out too! No one was remaining calm about this small little bird??

A student left to get the principal? Like the principal is some sort of bird whisperer or something? I don’t know. Meanwhile the student with broom was still trying to sweep the bird out of the classroom, another student got fed up with the ineffective sweeping. So he grabs the broom and starts slamming the broom to scare the bird a little bit more.

At this point I am concerned he’s going to hit another student on the head with the broom. But I am more focused on getting the other adults to calm down. In my not so humble opinion, the kids were freaking out because most of the adults were freaking out. You’ve heard of the example of when the flight attendant is nervous the passengers are nervous? That’s exactly what was happening here.

Anyway, he’s still slamming the broom, I’m still saying “괜찮아!” and everyone else is still having a panic attacks.

And then.

I hear a splat.

I don’t even have to look.

I just ask.

“So which one of you is going to clean up this dead bird?”





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