Bird-watching unites English teachers


Alexander Miles

Gustavo Solari Neumann (11), Camron Baldwin (10), Riley Richardson (10), Alexandra King (10), Rayya James (10), and English teacher Mr. Call spot a red belly woodpecker.

Ellie Mehta, Staff Writer

In addition to working at the same school and sharing a passion for English, two Upper School teachers discovered that they have something else in common: bird-watching.

English teachers—Mr. Evan Chastain and Mr. Ryan Call—have been embracing their interest in different bird species for a while together. Despite a bond that goes back to before their arrival at Kinkaid, the teachers have formed a new connection through their hobby. 

“As an adult, it’s difficult to find and make time to create and develop friendships,” Mr. Call said. “Bird-watching has given Mr. Chastain and I the chance to grow our friendship over a shared interest.”

Their enthusiasm for this recreational activity has also seeped into the classroom. 

“I’m able to share the joy of whatever birds I’ve noticed to my students and chat about what they’ve seen,” said Mr. Chastain. “We also set up hummingbird feeders just outside the class and sometimes we see some birds hanging around the trees that we can talk about.”

Similarly, Mr. Call also integrates his love for birding into the classroom.

“I don’t intentionally do it or integrate it into my classroom as much as Mr. Chastain,” Mr Call said. “But if someone brings up the topic, I love to share.”

With bird feeders littering the trees in the library courtyard, Mr. Chastain and Mr. Call are able to view many different bird species just outside their classrooms and teach their students what they’ve learned over years of experience with birding. 

With such a strong friendship and passion for bird-watching, the two English teachers have been able to merge their love for teaching and their hobby into a short course during Interim Term. During this course, students are able to learn about different birds and even try birding out themselves. 

“Since Mr. Call is chaperoning an Interim Term trip this year we wouldn’t be able to host the bird-watching class together,” Mr. Chastian said. “While I’m not one-hundred percent sure that I’ll do it without him, I will most likely try to continue it.”