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When my daughter was about 3 years old, she started to have a real interest in the food she was eating. Everything that she put in her mouth was first dissected, analyzed and questioned. As a mom who wanted her child to eat healthy foods, I sometimes needed to get creative with my descriptions and labels. Salmon burgers become “maybe chicken patties,” quesadillas were “cheesy bread” and my personal favorite was zucchini bread, which was infamously dubbed “candy bread.” (I may have told her that the green bits in it were crushed up M & M’s).
Fast forward almost 15 years, and you’ll find me still renaming food. Salad is rabbit food, chocolate is stress release, and coffee is a power drink. You see, however, food isn’t the only area of my life that I repackage. As a teacher, reaching kids where they are is paramount to success. My classes often sound like this: “You already know today’s content; we’re just going to take notes;” or “Let’s play a game (whisper educational activity). But maybe the greatest repacking is simply what I do. French is simply repurposed into a platform that I can use to encourage kids, engage them, and help them as they navigate life’s waters.
This past year, after working with Christine through the Apple Training, I realized that I wasn’t the only gig in town to re-label what I do. As I’ve reflected over the past year and thought about what I’ve done and learned in the sessions, I can’t find any one word that describes them. Engaging, interesting, and challenging all come to mind, but they simply don’t do justice. In over 15 years in education, working with Christine was some of the best professional development I have ever experienced. And here is the secret why. You see, the Apple Training isn’t really about technology. Yes, there was a strong focus on technology; I used my iPad and created documents and I learned about new and exciting applications that could benefit me and my students. But, the bottom line is that the training is not about the content or the technology; it’s about people. It’s about teachers and students. It’s about encouraging those who encourage others. It’s about inspiration so that we can go on to inspire a whole new generation of learners.
I wrapped up my Apple Training with new ideas and new tools in my toolbox, but more importantly, I felt supported and validated. I worked with a like-minded, dedicated, and passionate person who heard and listened and then walked with me on the journey.
Apple Training was my candy bread.
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