One of my unwritten goals for the past year has been to make it into the Google Teacher Academy. I missed the December deadline for NYC because I chickened out at the last minute over making my one minute video. When the application opened this spring for Mountain View (Google HQ!) I knew I couldn’t wait another year.
To be honest, it was one of the most stressful things I have ever done, probably because I wanted it so badly. Not only was the application stressful, but the day I knew I would be receiving my email of acceptance (or denial, but I was staying positive) was horrible. I must checked my email at least 100 times even though my phone would have alerted me to the received message. Everything stopped in my life whenever my pocket vibrated thinking that this could be it.
- At about 4pm, the email telling me I was accepted arrived and I literally jumped up and down and started screaming. Luckily I was alone in the school cafeteria waiting for my Relay For Life meeting to start so it wasn’t that embarrassing. I wanted to share two things I learned from this experience.Make sure you read the directions!! I was asked to answer 2 questions. One on hardships that I have faced and how I overcame them. The other on why I wanted to attend the GTA. I read the question and noticed that underneath it said ‘Maximum 800 words.” I remember thinking ‘wow, there are at least 1000 people going to apply and they are going to read all of these essays in a week. That’s impressive!’ So I wrote out this page and half essay and when I was finally ready, pasted the text into the box on the Google form. That’s when the little red error popped up and said “800 characters exceeded.” You read that right: CHARACTERS not WORDS. I had to take an essay that was nearly 800 words (779 to be exact) and turn it into 800 characters including spaces! On the day it was due! While I was teaching classes!! Here is my submission as to why I wanted to attend the GTA:
- You need to create a one minute video about how you are innovating education and having an impact in your school. A couple of students and I had worked on a project for the White House Film festival a few months ago so I tapped their talents to help me again. We found clips I had recorded from various activities, filmed a short intro, and edited over the course of a couple of hours in the video production lab. One of the students is very talented with Garage Band so while 2 of us were editing clips (and dealing with my OCD/perfectionist tendencies), he was creating an original score for the piece. It is not the best video that I have seen submitted, but we were pretty proud of it when we were done. Below is my video submission.