Last week was one of the hardest weeks for me professionally. I had a teachable moment, that I tried to make the most of, involving a Killdeer nest in our school field. During recess duty during the last week of April, a group of students and myself noticed that we had about 4 Killdeer in our field pretending to be hurt. I told the students that there was probably a nest around the field somewhere. We talked about what the eggs would look like (egg shaped rocks), and what we could do if we found them (help protect them from getting run over by the lawn mower). From that moment on they were on an egg hunt and I thought that we would be able to do something for the ground nesters to help protect their chicks. Then, on Tuesday of last week, students found the nest and removed the eggs. A feeling of frustration took over me and with a few breathes I told them that this was not a good choice. I had most of the students stand back away from the area that the nest was in, and the two students that took the eggs showed me where they found the eggs (or as close to the spot as they could remember). I had a student get cones from our P.E. teacher so we could protect the nest from the lawn mower, we sent a message to the office asking students to stay away from the nest so we can see if the parents would be able to find the eggs. We had a class discussion that day about why it is important to leave the eggs alone, and what might happen because we disturbed the nest. Students were sad to hear that the parents might not go back to the eggs even though we tried to put them back. Or, that even if the parents do find the eggs they still might not hatch because we could have done damage to the chick inside the egg. As a class, we were determined to do what we could to help these birds. We started observing the area with our binoculars and letting other students know not to play too close to the cones. We let our custodial staff know of the situation and painted large stir sticks red to replace the cones. When I left for home on Tuesday evening, the male and female Killdeer were still around the nest. I was hopeful for the chicks, as was our class. However, after school that day, someone came to our field and destoryed the eggs. The class felt heartbroken by these actions. We had a follow up discussion about what made them feel this way and why. Some students were mad because the eggs should never have been touched. Others were sad because the chicks are dead for sure now, and still others were confused as to why someone would want to smash the eggs. The Killdeer are no longer in our field, and the students miss following them when they pretend to be injured, but they understand why they moved on.