Google Innovator

Last Monday night, I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned all night. I even missed my alarm the next morning.

I told my students that I had my phone on because I was waiting for an acceptance email regarding the Google Innovator Academy. This was the first time I had ever applied for the #googleei program. My 7th Graders knew that I had submitted an application to attend the Toronto Academy in October.

I had explained to them that I may fail. Only 35-some educators from all over the world were accepted into a single cohort. My students knew about the Techy Two by Ten project that I submitted because I used it with them every day. So much for 10 days! The students seem to enjoy connecting with me.

3'clock came. I left for a #teamBCSD Ed Tech Yoda meeting where I obviously did not give 100% attention. 4'clock arrived. We were half way through the training material we planned to use with our beginning technology teachers. 4:55 pm passed. I had no idea if I was going to make the 1 week of the 6-week course since the training started October 3, and I had travel plans.

5'clock came, and I received this

You probably expected me to say that my application was accepted and that I was an official Google Innovator who would attend the Toronto, Canada  three-day academy where I would begin a year-long mentorship with a leader in educational technology.

No. That didn't happen.

This blog post is about learning to persevere despite perceived failure.

In my classroom I have these posters:

Failure is not an option; in this class, it is a requirement.
FAIL = First Attempt In Learning
Why is teaching failure and perseverance important? Recently, students were screencasting their Rumi poem analysis. One student was randomly screaming, making students restart their recording. When I pulled the boy aside, I asked him why the screaming. "Because I was getting frustrated."

"Frustration is okay. Failure is okay. Do you see that sign on the wall? You are expected to fail in this class so that you create experiences you never knew were possible. You must put yourself out. You must not be afraid to fail," I replied.

He is not alone. I have seen both adults and students give up after working hard. But success is not always immediate. Nor should it be. It is that struggle that makes the success so valuable.

Is it possible that someone was accepted into #tor16 with their first application? I'm sure that it happened. But I also know that some were accepted the fourth time they applied and others were denied for the sixth time.

Failure makes us stronger. Would I like to have been a part of  #tor16 ? Yes, but then again, as a technology innovator in my district, I am used to rejections. I am used to being told no.

Despite this, I never give up.

It is time to re-evaluate my application, find a strong mentor, and work with my students again to apply for the Mexico City Innovator Cohort.

Now, I better get back to work. I have an application to revise . . . y tengo que practicar mi espaƱol.


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