“Remember when you told me you’d teach the class how to make spring rolls?” Sophia’s teacher asked me a couple of weeks ago.
I nodded, vaguely remembering my promise.
“Can you come in next week?”
Less than a week later, I loaded two bags full of spring roll making ingredients and Jaxson in my car. I was prepared to teach 23 third graders (and a teacher) how to roll their own Vietnamese spring rolls aka summer rolls aka gỏi cuốn. Or at least I thought I was. Have you ever stood in front of a class of hungry 9 and 10-year-olds?
I felt like Marlin from Finding Nemo:
Thank goodness Mrs. Hernandez made them keep a 3-foot-distance from the demo table. She also took all the photos because there was no way I could have done the demo, helped the students AND take photos. (Obviously I’m not showing any of the faces of Sophia’s classmates for privacy reasons.) I also had two cute helpers:
I was there to help kick-off the class’s culture project, where they would learn about their classmates’ different cultures through food, music, and traditions. I also think Mrs. Hernandez wanted me to come in because she keeps pestering me for my spring roll recipe. After explained what ingredients went into spring rolls, I demonstrated how to roll them. The students broke up into groups to make their own.
Jaxson and Sophia each manned a table. I think they felt a little like Marlin as well. Sophia’s classmates were so excited (and hungry) to make the rolls. I loved their enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, we had some issues the rice paper wrappers sticking to both the foil sheets, wax paper, and paper plates. That didn’t bother the kids.
They worked hard on their rolls and ate them with gusto. Several kids asked for seconds, but we were out of time.
Even Mrs. Hernandez got to roll her very own spring rolls. While the students packed up to catch their buses home, I made a plateful of rolls for the teacher to take home. I think I earned some serious brownie points! Sophia was thrilled to be able to share one of her favorite Vietnamese foods with her class. I’m glad I was able to come in and help.
A couple of days later, I received thank you notes from the students. They were hilariously cute.
Next time, I’ll pack twice the amount of food. Third graders can EAT.
P.S. Don’t you love my apron? I got it from Flirty Aprons and I’m in love with it! (affiliate link)