I have been in education for 23 years. In that time, whenever I was a classroom teacher, we always did a science unit in March about machines: levers, pulleys, ramps, and the like. This way the students could put that new knowledge to good use. I assigned an optional project creating leprechaun traps. I assigned it a good 2+ weeks in advance. In writing, they would develop explanative paragraphs detailing how the trap worked. In literacy we read stories of Irish folklore and leprechauns. The kids had a blast with it. Reminders were sent the week before the traps were due. Then the kids brought them in on March 16 so we could set them up before we left. We always left directions for the night custodian about how to man the traps. The kids were so excited.
I can still see the letter to parents pulled from Mailbox. I copied it onto green paper.
Other old timers—you know what I’m talking about.
Imagine my surprise every year when this optional project was almost always ignored. I was so disappointed. So I started turning it into a classroom group project so the kids didn’t feel the disappointment, too.
This it the first year I’ve had a child old enough to design her first school leprechaun trap. And I need to say something.
I’m so sorry to parents throughout the Chicagoland area from 1999 to 2015.
I didn’t know.
I take it all back.
I understand now.
I was young and childless.
I was still a child myself.
I get it now.
This leprechaun trap is some bullshit. Glitter, paint, craft sticks and shoeboxes? Pipe cleaners, gold paper, toothpicks and so much damn tape. WHAT WAS I THINKING? This is awful. She wants to do it all by herself but it’s just so messy. And we don’t even allow glitter in this house. McKenna even said that. She cried a little because how can you have a trap with no glitter? Son of a motherless goat! I guess we have to use some freaking glitter.
We did it. and I hope to never have to do it again.