What I learned by applying to the Google Teacher Academy

In the words of the (very wise) Rolling Stones...

"You can't always get what you want,
But if you try sometimes, well you might find,
You get what you need."

I definitely wanted to get in to the Google Teacher Academy, like I really (REALLY) wanted it. And, ok, maybe I didn't "need" to get rejected, but... it's a good song. In all seriousness, going through the application process has helped me reflect and set goals that are helping me to grow and be better. 

I am always talking to teachers about the importance of reflection. Reflection on what we have tried, reflection on the new tools and strategies we have worked on, and reflection for students. By going through the GTA application I was forced to practice what I preach. I set time aside to think about the positive changes that I am making in my learning community, to think about how I deal with difficult situations, and to realize how important it is to share and learn with a community.

Through my reflections I realized that I have a lot of room for growth (as we all do), but also that I have grown so much. When I uploaded my video to YouTube I looked at my past application videos (yes, I've applied three times) and my most recent video was ten times better than my first. I have a feeling that my next video will be even better than that. But it was so much more than my video creation skills, it was what I work on daily, what I have supported my teachers in doing. By pulling that video together and putting it out for the world to see I feel like I took a huge step for me mentally. Often times I want to create things, like this blog or a video tutorial, but am too scared to truly put myself out there. I took a risk by putting myself out there, and even though it didn't work out this time I saw how valuable it was for me to do that.

So I'm going to keep putting myself out there, starting with this blog! I plan to share more of my learning and growth through this blog, as well as twitter, google+, and my community. I have attempted this blogging thing before, but always end up shying away. Not this time. I'm making a commitment, please help hold me to it!

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