“Yes, Virginia, I am a Leprechaun.”

by Sarah on March 21, 2012 · 21 comments

For those of you who have only recently been reading my blog, the reason I no longer live in my beloved Austin is because I wanted to get back into the classroom, teaching. And I wanted to teach in Charlottesville. Because I came back in the middle of the schol year, the only jobs available were long-term substituting positions. Serendipitously, there was a long term sub position in the exact same classroom where I had subbed just before leaving for Austin two years ago.

But Friday is my last day in fifth grade. :(

But in honor of my kiddos–and the joy of elementary school–I am dedicating my Jenn-created What I Ate Wednesday post this week to the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day last Friday…when instead of just WIAW “going green,” my whole class did.It all began with the magical reappearance of my former “Friday shoes,” which, historically, I wore every Friday of the school year (even when my toes were longing to breathe in the heat). I had not been able to find them since I moved, but then, all of a sudden—as though a leprechaun dropped them off on his way to the end of the rainbow–there they were in a random box in my closet!I decided on the spur of the moment to stop at the grocery store and pick up some fruits and veggies for my kids. I mean, if we were going to WEAR green…we should probably EAT green, too. [The cantaloupe was a bonus...for me. ;) ]

As luck (o’ the Irish) would have it, the grapes were even on sale.

I artfully arranged everything in my green polka-dotted bowl and snapped a photo, but if you think that actually letting 10-year-olds choose which green food they ate was an efficient use of time (and wouldn’t cause potential squabbling), well, you obviously haven’t hung out with small children very much.No, no…instead I gave out grapes to my homeroom, cucumbers to my Language Arts class, and green apples in Math. The biggest St. Patrick’s Day surprise, however, came when it was the cucumbers that were the most popular ‘treat.’ Kids actually said, “Why didn’t OUR class get the cucumbers?”

And I totally thought they would be the dud.

Another surprise? Three of my kids had never eaten a cucumber before! It was like that time I discovered my students in Texas didn’t know what celery was until I made them ants on a log.

Not only does Miss Smart educate minds…she educates tastebuds.

I also teach foreign languages.*

*I consider stereotypical idiomatic expressions to be invaluable in language study, don’t you? Perhaps it was the horrific Irish brogue I attempted to adopt, or perhaps it was my excessive wearing of green (a color I wear every single day), but the kids all began to ask, “Are you a leprechaun, Miss Smart?”

[And this is--according to fifth graders--how to photograph yourself looking like one.]

I grabbed a few green globes for my oatmeal, and then had to enlighten students to the joys of roasted–or in this case, slightly warmed–grapes.Later, in math, I munched on some leprechaun-sized peppers (and carrots) dipped in not-so-green-anymore Southwestern Grapefruit Avocado Dip while we analyzed multiplying, dividing, and purchasing ingredients for an Irish Soda Bread recipe.*

*And yes, I threw in advice on how to make an even better version at home…["What does 'vegan' mean, Miss Smart?"]I inexplicably have no other photos of food from school that day, but I do have a picture of what my kids called “Magical Dragon Beads” and were what they gave as an excuse for why they were acting so crazy all day.

The ten-year-old girls from whom I intercepted this note may one day find out how these types of beads can also make college co-eds in New Orleans go a little crazy this time of year…At home, I continued the green theme, by “going green” in the environmental sense. After all, isn’t it ‘green’ not to let food go to waste?A rather ill-looking avocado combined beautifully with some leftover basil and orange juice……for an orange-basil take on Citrus Avocado Dressing.

[Third time was good...but not quite the (lucky) charm.]

And of course, I couldn’t let the random ‘Nilla Wafers some student left on my desk go to waste, either. How ‘green’ of me to use the abandoned snack time treat–along with some dark chocolate chips!–for my nightly bowl of cereal.Of course, I scooped a handful from the green bag of Love Grown goodness to mix in that night. :) Three more days with my–yes, in twelve weeks they became mine–kids seems so tragical right now, that it’s hard to feel leprechaun(ly?) magical. But, they–and now you–will always know where to find me if you need me:

[I swear that marker was green, too. Silly lighting...]

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 21, 2012 at 12:31 am

How did they not now?! That makes me want to quit me job and be an educator. I am so thankful there are people like you in the world. xoxo

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Nicole March 21, 2012 at 7:49 am

What a fun day! Way to go with the theme and the green veggies!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes March 21, 2012 at 8:12 am

So cute!! Haha :)

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Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count March 21, 2012 at 8:15 am

Sarah, I can just imagine how close you would come to feel to those children. You’re the kind of teacher who Needs to have her own class. They are lucky to have had someone so creative and enthusiastic. Some teachers just go through the motions. I’m fairly certain that’s not how you approach teaching. Any idea what you’ll do now? Whatever you decide, you’ll do a great job!

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Sarah March 23, 2012 at 6:15 am

I have a little bit of a (spring) break and then I will be gearing up to finish out the year as a first grade teacher at a different school. I’m not nearly as familiar with first grade as fifth, so it will be an interesting–but I’m sure still rewarding–challenge!

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Tricia @ Saving room for dessert March 21, 2012 at 8:20 am

Once again thank you, thank you for sharing vegetables and fruits with your kids. They will talk about you for years to come!

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean March 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

i used to love doing veggie taste tests with my preschoolers!

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers March 21, 2012 at 9:35 am

You getting kids to ask for cucumbers makes you a super hero. Perhaps in this case, a super leprechaun.

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Anna @ On Anna's Plate March 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

I would have LOVED you as my teacher– you seem so involved and enthusiastic!! And it cracks me up that they were asking if you were a leprechaun :-)

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Emily March 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

I want to go back to school just so I can have a teacher like you. Love your green (and healthy!!!) snacks!!!! I wish all teachers thought that way.

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Parita @ myinnershakti March 21, 2012 at 11:03 am

I wish my teachers were as fun as you! Your kids must love you!!! And it’s so surprising how kids don’t know basic (at least to me) fruits and veggies…makes me sad!

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Jessica March 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Way to get into the green spirit! Love your enthusiasm!

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Laura March 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I love that you enjoy your job so much, and make it such a blast for your kids! Love your green eats too, citrus avocado dressing sounds delicious!

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Katie @ Nutrition in a Peanut Shell March 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Aw, looks like you had a great St.Patrick’s day! I wish my teachers were as cool as you are. And nilla wafers in cereal? I like it!

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Liz @ iheartvegetables March 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Haha you are so fantastically green! And I can’t believe some of your students had never had a cucumber! (Actually… I CAN believe it… and that’s sad.)

I’ve never had grapes in oatmeal… but I guess it’s sort of like the non-shirvled raisins that go so well in oatmeal!

Now I’m craving a green smoothie…

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Candy @ Healthy In Candy Land March 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Aw, I bet your students are going to miss you! I LOVE those green shoes, almost as much as your enthusiasm for your day of green. Bringing healthy green foods to share with students is AWE. SOME. I wish there were more teachers like you! Any prospects of a permanent position for next year? (Good luck!)

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Sarah March 23, 2012 at 6:13 am

Still not sure about next year…keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Maria March 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Just thinking on my ride home from work today that I’ve never had Love Grown granola. hint-hint :)

I hope your next teaching position is just as exciting as this one sounds :)

p.s. Have you heard of RevFoods.com? It’s an organization that helps make kids lunches healthier. Thought you might be interested in learning about them if you haven’t already.

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blackhuff March 22, 2012 at 2:58 am

Love all the Green you have brought into your diet.
It’s great that the kids have a teacher like you, teaching them about food that they have never had. Impressive!
I love that Green shoes of yours. You have more guts than I, to wear shoes with such bold color.

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Julie March 22, 2012 at 3:04 am

You took green to the max!

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brandi March 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm

go green! i love it :)

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