Me: Where did you get the idea to have a leprechaun visit your class?
LS: Well really it goes back to when I was in first grade. So I remember, I guess we made a trap or something, but I remember putting out, um, Lucky Charms cereal and I think we had some kind of like class trap. I could be wrong, but I just remember, like we were trying to trap the leprechaun and um, we, I mean, I don’t remember for sure cause you know, that was many years ago, but I guess the leprechaun did like set our trap off, but we didn’t catch him. You know? I don’t remember if he left anything. I think he left a pot of gold or something, you know, like the chocolate gold, but I don’t really remember what happened there, but I remember that somebody in my class like went to the bathroom and then they came running back and they were like, “I saw the leprechaun!” And they were like claiming they saw this like little hat, like peek out of the ceiling tile in the bathroom. Which, I mean, for me, I was like, I don’t want someone looking at me in the bathroom. Like, it’s a little weird. But to me it kind of was like, almost like, “oh my God, they’re real.” Like, you know? And so that was just like always a fun memory. And I don’t really remember doing a lot with St Patrick’s day after that. Like I remember we all wore green and like, you know, everyone was like, “oh I’ll pinch you,” if you didn’t. But like that’s the one time I remember like having that experience. And so then when I started teaching, of course, like you find ways to make every holiday fun and you know, engaging. Um, and so somewhere along the way, I guess it was my first year teaching, um my parapro at the time, she was like, oh yeah, we usually like to trash the room. And she had some old green Garland and like some decorations that they had used before. And they’re like, oh yeah, we just like wreck it and leave like a treat. And so I think we left gold coins at their seat and like gave them like a cookie or cupcake or something with green frosting. And we like just tore up the and then she threw like the Garland and other decorations, like up on the board and like made it look like, you know, I, I think there was like a cutout leprechaun that got like taped on the board, you know? And, um, the, you know, the kids went nuts and they got back in the room and it was just so fun. And then the kids would be like, “oh my gosh, the leprechaun trashed our room!” And then they’ll help you clean it up, you know? Um, and so I kind of just continued that from I was in kindergarten. Um, but of course then with the pandemic, we couldn’t do it for the past couple of years.
Background: LS has taught kindergarten in Athens, Georgia since 2015. She went to elementary school in a suburb of Athens in the 1990s.
Context: This story was told to me over a phone call. Analysis: I also remember leprechauns visiting my classroom in elementary school. I was particularly interested in L’s story because she touches on the consumerism of the tradition. She talks about using Lucky Charms as a leprechaun trap, for example. Lucky Charms are not traditionally Irish, yet there’s an association between them and what’s considered an Irish holiday. Additionally, when I looked into the lore behind leprechaun traps, it seems that the idea has almost solely existed for elementary schools or other gatherings of children.