Good Food is Good Food

Growing up I lived for the mashed potatoes that would grace the Thanksgiving table. My mom would make them and put loads of butter, whipped cream cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper (no wonder I loved them, right?). My plate would consist mainly of one heaping serving of mashed potatoes and little helpings of everything else, and absolutely no cranberry sauce, who eats that anyways? This past Thanksgiving I spent the holiday with my boyfriend and his family. His mother is full Armenian. Whenever I visit his family’s house, the dinner spread always looks a little different. I had an experience with Sarma once, a traditional Armenian grape leaf dish, that I would like to forget. Nonetheless, as we sat down for Thanksgiving dinner the table with plates set out and food to fill them. My plate consisted of pilaf, turkey, cheese Boreg, and Souberag. It wasn’t my mom’s mashed potatoes, but it was good food. I saw the bottom of my plate at the end, and I was satisfied. Good food is good food, right?

As schools continue to navigate the shift from traditional classroom instruction to innovative practices; one thing will remain the same, good teaching is good teaching. As teachers and students sit down at their table, the spread looks different: iPads, articles, Chromebooks, Project-based Learning, Personalized Learning, etc. The items are different, but I think one thing holds true; good teaching is good teaching.

Working in the technology- driven educational atmosphere, I often get labeled ‘the iPad lady.’ “Oh, here comes that iPad lady.” Even though from the beginning, I have said using technology will not change everything. It is not the end all be all, but it is a tool to get us moving in the direction of innovative principles in our instruction.

People are sitting down to a technology rich meal; not realizing it is the same meal that they have been growing up with for years. It may not be the same Christopher Columbus map activity you have done before, but you will still be satisfied at the outcomes of the student product. Students may even find deeper meaning in the activity. Technology is the plate you use to serve your lessons. It is a tool in your tool belt.

The Armenian dishes at Thanksgiving give me a different Thanksgiving experience, but in the end, I still ate and was satisfied. Technology will give your students a different educational experience, but it doesn’t mean throwing out of everything that you know. The table still held traditional Thanksgiving items, but the new dishes created a new experience. Teachers know what good teaching practices are. Technology is here to enhance those practices, and create new experiences for your students. Experiences where students tap into their empathy, collaboration, and creation skills.

If you are wondering where to start with technology in your classroom, check out our blog post #HACK_R Bytes: Classroom Toolkit for a way to get started.

Michelle Claverie

by Michelle Claverie

Michelle is passionate about engaging educators in meaningful learning centered around emerging practices in education. Her background consists of teaching in elementary, adult, and college levels. She brings a unique perspective as a teacher who entered education during the early adoption of technology and her passion for innovative instruction is evident when she speaks on these classroom practices. Michelle works closely with local school districts to ensure effective and purposeful integration of technology into researched-based instructional practices. She has an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction, an Ed.S. in Education Leadership and is working towards her her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.