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[Weekly Inspiration] This Teacher Has Hatched Chicks With Her Students For 33 Years

[Weekly Inspiration] This Teacher Has Hatched Chicks With Her Students For 33 Years

For the STEM students at Stonehurst Avenue Elementary Stem Magnet in Sun Valley, CA (part of Los Angeles Unified School District), spring is a very special time of year. For the last 33 years, teacher Cynthia Christopher runs a very special project: she and her students hatch chicks in the classroom.

Every year, Ms. Christopher brings eggs into the classroom and places them under heat lamps for her students to watch and study. For 21 days, while watching the incubating eggs, they read books about hatching chickens, draw pictures, and even write about what they think is happening inside the eggs. And once the big day comes, they gather around the incubator to watch the chicks hatch, name them, and even read them stories.

When EdWeek looked into Ms. Chrstopher’s special lessons, they learned something pretty amazing: this is all funded by the teacher and by donations from the community. Ms. Christopher provides the incubator, feed, heat lamps, tank, and lining out of her own pocket. The eggs are provided by local ranches, and some years it can be a real struggle to get the eggs she needs.

So why does she do it?

When the eggs hatch, the students are thrilled. They name their favorite chicks, observe them as they grow, and even have an opportunity to adopt them and bring them home. But Ms. Christopher sums up her reasons better than I can:

“It’s the miracle of an egg hatching for a 5-year-old,” she said. “It never ceases to be amazing.”

Check out the story here and think about all of the first-time experiences your students will have in your classroom. Miracles can happen in school, too!