Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Google Teacher Academy Mountain View - The Gift of a Near Win

A couple of weeks ago I found this TED Talk by Sarah Lewis on Twitter: Embrace the Near Win.  As I reflect on my second Google Teacher Academy (GTA) rejection, this talk resonates with me.  Here are some quotes:

"Success is a moment of time..."
"The pursuit of mastery is the reaching not the arriving..."
"The near win shows you how little you know..."
"What, right now, do we plan to do to address that mountain in our sites..."
"We thrive not when we have done it all, but when we have more to do..."
"Coming close to what you thought you wanted can help you attain more than you thought you could..."

What do these quotes have to do with my failure or "Near Win"?  They are motivating me to work to improve and become the educator who is chosen for GTA.  Here is my plan for improvement:
  • As I watched the video submissions of other applicants, I realized how much my video sucked.  I was so stuck with the process of making the video that who I am as an educator did not shine through.  BIG MISTAKE!  I tried to follow David Theriault's advice about creating a winning short video:  CLICK HERE (thanks for sharing David!), I was frozen with fear.  Instead of being myself and letting that come out by telling a story, I did the opposite and made it forgettable.  So, I will make sure my video tells a story and that who I am as a person and educator shines through.
  • Even though I have been using Google Apps for the past 5 years, I still have much to learn about infusing GAFE tools.  So, I will become a Google Educator by July 2014 and a Google Education Trainer by October 2014.
I have to say that the past and present "Chosen Ones" are impressive and truly innovative educators.  It seems like each round gets more competitive and the bar gets raised just a bit higher.  It is truly inspiring to know that all of the recent applicants (successful and not so much) are making a huge difference in their classrooms/schools/districts and they impact student/adult learning and motivation.  I will continue learning with/from them on Twitter and Google+. 

I look forward to the process of completing my next application for GTA Austin.  I will be like astronaut Jose Hernandez from Stockton California.  He applied to the astronaut program 12 times before getting accepted.  Hopefully it won't take me that long!? 

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