I'm still sort of in shock. I was home sick yesterday with a head cold and I checked my e-mail to find one notifying me that I'd been accepted to the Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View, CA this December!!! This was my second time applying and although I was confident that my 2nd attempt was 100% better than my first, I'd seen many of the other videos and knew that the applicant pool was impressive.
In hindsight, my first application was uninspired. I didn't really get it. I had yet to really grasp how much there was that I didn't know about Google. I was a good searcher, seriously- I'm a librarian! Why wouldn't they want me? But since they only accept 50 people for each group I wasn't really surprised when I got the rejection e-mail. Soon after, I heard about the Google Apps for Education Summits. It turned out that the Southeast regional GAFE Summit was coming up and a group from my school district was going. Thanks to the generous administrators leading the trip, I was invited to go along.
This was my "A-ha!" moment. At the summit were educators who were passionate not only about about teaching but also innovators in the successful implementation of technology in their schools. More than that, there were Google Certified Teachers and Trainers who opened doors and sparked conversations that I'd never even considered. I was left not only energized, but with a new understanding of the global classroom made possibly through technology.
When we returned I applied to the Mountain View GTA. I didn't even look at my previous application. I started fresh and with a new approach. I emphasized how much more I had to learn as well as what I'd already accomplished. I tried to infuse my application video with my personality and really take the time to get it right.
In the end, even if I hadn't been accepted, I would have appreciated the process. This application, like NETS*T certification, allowed an opportunity for reflection. I truly believe that I'm a better librarian and teacher thanks to the personal exploration required.