After three years of working in the Charter world, this fall I am transitioning to a small Christian private school. I am sad to leave behind my students and colleagues but excited to fuse some of the things I am most passionate about: faith and education.
I got into education because I was passionate about closing the achievement gap. As a first year pre-med student at a small, elite, liberal arts school, I found myself woefully unprepared for the rigor of my math and science classes. This academic struggle propelled me to learn about educational inequality and in the course readings for my Latino Identity class, I found answers to the question I was asking myself daily, “Why is this so hard for me?” Over the next four years, I became an advocate for equal educational opportunity and decided to become a teacher.
Upon graduating, I enrolled in grad school and began working in an Urban charter school as a tutor. After that year, I became a full time teacher in a different charter school. I learned a lot during my time teaching in charters: how to be data driven, how to question my teaching efficacy before questioning my students desire to learn, and how to have a growth mindset. However, an extended school day and school year, in addition to teaching four different courses over two years left me feeling perpetually exhausted and overextended.
Last spring, I began looking for other jobs and reached out to the school where I will be working this fall on a whim, since the school did not have jobs posted on their site. My email was quickly answered and I was elated to find out that they were, in fact, looking for a Spanish teacher. During that same time I applied to a dozen of Spanish and history jobs around Boston, and after a super stressful month of phone interviews, live interviews, follow-up interviews, (and, finally, sample lessons) I got a job offer from the small Christian school!
This summer has been a summer of rest (and food blogging!), purposefully devoid of extensive PD or teaching-related work. Although the summer has flown by, I feel refreshed and excited to return to school this fall. I will be teaching Spanish and History to high schoolers again!
I am looking forward to returning to the weekly rhythm of lesson planning and teaching but most of all, I’m thrilled to meet my new students.
As fall gets closer, I’ve begun to change my approach to meals. I’m choosing easier meals that I can replicate once the school year starts. This is a recipe for a quick weeknight dinner. Espagueti Verde, or green spaghetti, consists of a few ingredients and can be tossed together pretty quickly. Espagueti Verde consists of spaghetti noodles covered in creamy poblano sauce. It is most commonly a two-ingredient sauce made of sour cream and roasted poblanos, which yield a tangy pasta. My variation is made with heavy cream, and though the sauce is much milder, feta cheese adds a tangy kick. Portobello slices make it heartier while keeping it meat-free. Espagueti Verde is one of my favorite leftovers since the flavor only gets better the next day.
Hope you enjoy!
Yields 4 servings
Cooking Time: 1 hour
1 Cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves of garlic
3 large poblano peppers
1 box of spaghetti pasta
1.5 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 portabella mushroom caps, cut into strips
1/2 cup crumbled feta
- Peppers: Roast poblano peppers by placing them directly over gas flame or on a skillet. Blister skin for about 3 minutes, turning frequently to prevent burning. Once skin is charred, place peppers in a closed plastic bag or a sealed container to “sweat” for 15 minutes. This process will ensure that you can peel the blistered skin off easily.
- Mushrooms: While peppers are sweating, sauté portobello mushroom pieces with one tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt over medium heat.
- Spaghetti: Cook spaghetti according to instructions and drain.
- Peppers: After peppers have been allowed to sit for 15 minutes, open bag or container and begin peeling off the blistered skin. Then, cut peppers open and remove seeds and stems.
- Sauce: Combine 1 cup of cream, 2 cloves of garlic and poblano peppers in blender. Puree until you achieve a smooth and consistent texture (about 2 minutes).
- Sauce: Heat a skillet to medium heat and melt the butter in the pan. Add the flour and whisk until frothy and fully combined. Then, add the poblano cream sauce and allow to thicken for about 10 minutes on low heat. When the sauce has thickened sufficiently and darkened in color combine the sauce with the cooked pasta.
- Assembly: Serve with portobello slices and feta on top.