Thursday, July 25, 2013

Designed by Apple in California #slice2013

Every Tuesday, Ruth and Stacey, host Slice of Life at their blog, Two Writing Teachers.  This is a very supportive and encouraging community.  If you are interested in participating, you can link up your posts on Tuesdays. (Pssst...I know that it isn't Tuesday, but it has been a crazy week.  Sometimes it is important to still do something even if you missed the day.)

You can watch the Official Designed by Apple in California Trailer below:

One morning as I was starting up my computer and opened up my web browser, the Apple page came up.   My first week back at work was already super busy. However, there were a few words and an image that caught my eye before I had time to open up another window for my work email.  When I clicked on the image, I could read the whole statement.  I took a screen shot and posted it on my facebook page.  However, I knew I wanted to say more. 

The two images below make up Apple's Mission Statement. 

As an educator, I have never once thought of education as a business.  Others do, and I will let them have their thoughts.  For me, it has always been about the children.  In the first half of the mission statement, I was emotionally struck by the following lines:

Who will this help?
Will it make life better?
Does this deserve to exist?
If you are busy making everything,
How can you perfect anything?

As I am looking towards the start of a new school year, I can't help but ask myself some similar questions.  Will the programs and instruction that we present help the students that we are teaching?  Will it make their lives better?  Will their lives be better because of the time spent with us?

Ponder that for a moment.  Then move on and ask...

If you are busy making everything, how can you perfect anything? 

Wow!  There are times when I find myself feeling pulled in many directions.  New curriculum.  New initiatives. New teaching techniques.  New compliance requirements. New paperwork. Am I so busy with doing everything that I am failing to do the most important thing? Perfect the craft of teaching so that children grow and learn?

When looked at through that lens, do I have to plead guilty?

And Apple doesn't stop there.  Keep reading.

When I got to the line, there are a thousand "no's" for every "yes", I could almost hear the collective agreement.  Apple has always taken their time to put out a product.  Do we take our time so that every interaction we have with a student enhances each life it touches?

Teachers are just as much engineers and artists, craftsmen and inventors. Though those outside of education may rarely see what we do, and we may not always see the results of our efforts, we leave our signature on every child that walks through the door of our classroom or shares an interaction with us.

This year, I am going to be working on a District-level overseeing programs for English Language Learners at our Elementary Schools.  It is so easy to get overwhelmed by all of the needs of the students and the teachers and the families.  What will be my "no's" and "yeses"?  Will I maintain a focus on what is critically important to making a difference?  

Over the next few weeks,  I can plan to check off things on my "to-do" list or I can plan with the goal that every idea (and lesson or training) that I develop will enhance each life it touches