In order to control my unruly class, I waved about the annual Christmas carrot-stick.
‘Santa Claus might be watching,’ I said. ‘This is the time of year when he sends his elves and robin redbreasts out to check who is being naughty and who is being nice.’
The class settled down in time for their basketball coach to take them outside to practice. All the children filed out, with the exception of three unwell students who were staying inside with me. The class had no sooner left when a robin hopped in the open door. Myself and my three students watched in disbelief as the bird, feathers fluffed up against the cold, hopped calmly around the classroom. Up and down the rows of desks the little bird skipped, as if inspecting the room. Over spilled pencils it skipped, between strewn schoolbags and fallen books.
Mouths open, my three students watched the bird perform its inspection, visiting each desk in the room, before returning to the open door. It looked back once at the three girls, before disappearing outside.
When my class returned from their basketball practice I had a story to tell, and three witnesses to back me up. Needless to say, the children were very well behaved for the rest of the afternoon. Happy Christmas!