Apple Montessori Blog

Professional Development Day: Learning and Collaborating Together


Special thanks to our guest blogger, Ms. Koonce


On February 18, the entire Apple Team gathered for a memorable day of professional development. We take so much pride in the growth and happiness of our team, and it is always a delight to gather everyone in the room under one common goal – the achievement and overall happiness of our students. As educators, discovering, collaborating and exploring are all important parts of our collective mission.

“It is great to come together once a year to get reinvigorated by the staff at other school locations and the home office! It helps to refocus our mission, objective and day to day practice!” –Rebecca Fish, Director of Apple Montessori Schools Woodbridge Ave.

From start to finish, PDD kept our team on their toes. With surprise performances from our schools, inspiring speeches to interactive workshops that not only left each team member uplifted, but it also gave everyone a fresh perspective on what it means to be an educator and administrator at Apple. Fostering healthy working relationships, PDD allowed for our Apple team member to meet, collaborate, and learn from each other. Each team member was reminded of the integral part they play in the success of Apple Montessori Schools.

“It’s awesome seeing all of Apple together. You get to see the extent of how big we have become. It makes you feel like wow we are making a difference in so many lives. It’s powerful!” –Naomi Stark, Director of Apple Montessori Schools Rt. 27

Each school put together their own creative roll call. Cliffside Park serenaded the crowd with their own remix of ‘Baby Shark’, while Hoboken Maxwell channeled their inner Michael Scott with a flash mob to the tune of ‘Forever’ by Chris Brown.

It was amazing to see each school congregate and use their creativity as a way to build community within their schools and beyond!

Workshops and Keynote

In the same way we create an active learning opportunity for our students, we strive to build the same atmosphere for our teaching staff. When team members are able to take an active role in their own development, it is energizing and reaffirming to see their passion for early education shine. Our workshops were designed to build off of our team’s skills and allow for discussions and reinforcement for how to better themselves as educators.

“My students will benefit from what I learned at PDD because there were a lot of hands-on group activities and as long as we as teachers and building leaders work together as a team to make our school a comfortable, more compromising environment, our students will feel that and ride with it. I also love the idea implementation of group activities in the classroom so that is definitely something I plan on incorporating more into my students daily activity plan to build on their sense of teamwork and self-esteem.” – Ms. Spinella 

Our Keynote speaker, Jonathan Wolff, the Founder and Director of Learning for Life and Montessori Leadership has provided workshops and coaching for parents, educators, and leaders around the globe. He gave our team great insights on how to become a living example of what we want children to become.

“The guest speaker was awesome and he provided staff with great techniques on stress management, and handling many challenges you may face on a daily basis.”  Erica Rasdell

Apple Gives Back

Professional Development Day was not just about supporting our Apple Team; it was also about supporting our communities. Each attendee brought in a donation and we were able to drop off 21 boxes and 8 bags of food for the Center for Food Action! We are proud to partner with the center’s mission to prevent hunger and homelessness and improve the lives of individuals and families living in poverty. We are so inspired by the generosity of our team members!

We appreciate all of the hard work our team members put into making this day successful. Thank you, Apple Team!