For a while now, I've been wanting to find a way to get to the Google Innovator Academy. A few years ago, a colleague of mine was selected to be a part of one of the cohorts in Sydney. I was intrigued about the whole thing and over time I got into the mindset that I wanted to be an Innovator (since I feel like an innovator anyway). I did my Google Level 1 and 2 certifications and waited. I tried new things, and continue to try new things. I'm not satisfied when anyone tells me: "This is the best way to do it." I believe we live in a constantly changing world, which requires constantly changing attitudes and ideas.
I didn't apply for the first academy (in California, in February) because I was just starting at a new school (though in retrospect, perhaps the experience would have helped), but when the second one was announced for Colorado at the end of ISTE 2016 (where I am presenting) I thought, why not? I almost didn't apply and left the actual application until the last weekend.
I didn't really think much of my chances, since there would likely be a lot of applicants (apparently there were 900 videos on YouTube) and lots of people who, like me, had been waiting for a long while for this.
So it wasn't a massive surprise when I woke up this morning to find that I had indeed, not been selected. Looking at the map of selected individuals, I'm not really that dismayed. There were only four people selected outside of North America. I'm glad that I at least tried. Seeing some reactions of the people selected on twitter, did make me feel better (it's hard not to be disappointed when you put yourself out there and are rejected). At least two tweeters referenced the fact that they had gotten in on their third application. AND there will be another academy announced in July.
On one hand, I can look at this rejection as a good thing. It gives me time to innovate more in my class (directives from above notwithstanding), it gives me more time to work out what I actually want to change and accomplish (admittedly, it's still pretty rough, and maybe not the most clear vision at the moment), but it also (and, yes, this is important) allows me to take a little break after ISTE on my way back to New Zealand - I don't have to cancel my mini 2 day/1 night vacation in San Francisco. So lots of positives.
It does sting a bit, because I was in the need of a pick-me-up at the moment, but at least I know and I have 35 successful videos and projects that I can check. It gives me time to improve. If I would hazard a bet, I'd say I was in the younger range of applicants, so there is time.
What this rejection will NOT do is stop me from wanting to change. My efforts have been cast in doubt lately (and this has lead to a lot of self doubt), but at the end of the day, I am doing all of this for my students and to give them an opportunity to control their destinies.
This tweet was particularly relevant to me today:
New #GoogleEI? It means nothing if you don't make your world better.— John Stevens (@Jstevens009) May 20, 2016
Didn't get accepted? It means nothing if you make your world better.
Find my slide deck and video below. I'm open to any constructive criticism (though I have my own thoughts about what I need to fix) to help me get there next time.
So here's to second chances and that the next academy will be a bit closer to New Zealand (Sydney anyone?)