by Eric Ginsburg
With all the demands put on public school teachers, it’s nice to see someone taking an extra step to appreciate them.
The Edible Schoolyard at the Greensboro Children’s Museum had funding for teacher training — part of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences that allows them to teach Peck Elementary students about gardening and cooking — and wanted to use the opportunity to give teachers a laid-back, enjoyable evening for free.
And the best way to do that is to bring in a caterer and free booze.
A buffet of miniature ham biscuits, arugula and olive flatbread, deviled eggs, shrimp and several other savory snacks line one side of the large room at the downtown museum. Despite the rain, a few dozen Guilford County Schools’ educators and preschool teachers milled around tables set up by related community partners such as Food Corps, drinking white wine and chatting between a series of short workshops and tours.
The event was technically open to the public, but the majority of attendees still participated in a few training sessions, including a sample of 15-minute lessons designed to help kids understand where food comes from and healthy eating. Another quick workshop focused on cooking in the classroom, and museum staff offered tours of the Edible Schoolyard gardens outside and of the museum itself.
Teachers are truly incredible people, especially those with the willingness to stay committed to a profession under unrelenting attack, particularly in this state. And true to form, none of them turned out for the hors d’oeuvres and wine alone; but that doesn’t mean they didn’t partake while boning up on additional teacher training after hours.
The Greensboro Children’s Museum staff had three wines on hand, as well as two bottled beers from nearby Red Oak Brewery in Guilford County. Blame a disposition for red wine, but the Pepperwood Grove pinot noir handily bested the two white options. The Chilean red is a dry, medium-bodied drink with a unique cork that initially opens like a milk carton to reveal a re-sealable top that is more common for liquor bottles.
The 2013 Cardiff Vineyards moscato tastes too sweet, though plenty of moscatos are that way intentionally. The Cavit pino grigio, another 2013 white but this time from Italy rather than California, is floral and light, an all around more appealing wine, closer in quality to the Pepperwood Grove pinot noir.
But none of them were swirling their glasses, taking deep sniffs before swishing vino in their mouths and spitting into a bucket. That sounds too much like work, and this evening was designed to be a casual learning environment.
So here’s a toast to the teachers, putting in hours off the clock for the sake of their students, and to the Edible Schoolyard for taking the time to honor our educators.