Promises Kept - Moving Forward

After submitting my first Google Innovator application and having it denied, I promised myself that I would "re-evaluate my application, find a strong mentor, and work with my students again to apply for the Mexico City Innovator Cohort."

I wrote this promise in Sunday's blog post, and two days later I have already started to fulfill that promise. Yesterday, I participated in a Google Hangout with a strong mentor who helped me re-evaluate my application and Innovator Project.

Yes, the Techy Two by Ten project proposal was creative, but was it a moonshot? No. Educators who understand the benefit of establishing relationships with students will find a way - adding a picture to help us memorize a student's face is nice, but not revolutionary. Neither was Google Certified Teacher Level 1 Academy project idea I almost submitted.

Instead, the video I submitted to become a Google Certified Training last May is the beginnings of a better Innovator Project. My 7th & 8th Grade Yearbook students collaboratively created a 100-page full color softbound yearbook in Google Slides and it only cost us $8.16 to print it.

Why is this a moonshot? Expensive companies offer schools options to create memory books, but that cost keeps many students, especially the students in my district, from purchasing one. We can empower students to create a school yearbook with templates (temporary solution) and specialized graphic design tools possibly using the new Google Slides API.

We also looked at my application short answers and found room for growth. I had written my short answers in April but had not submitted them. Did you know that the questions change/evolve/become more specific with each cohort? English teachers, like myself, love revision and reminding students to read the prompts carefully . . . sigh . . .

So here is the next promise I need to keep - apply for the Mexico City Innovator Cohort. This goal is difficult, though not impossible, to reach. The Mexico City Innovator Cohort will be in Spanish. In fact, the application is in Spanish.

Do I speak Spanish? Sí.

Soy de un pueblo en California Central donde la mayoría de la gente habla espanol o talagog (idioma filipino)

Once my father retired from the military, we returned to our mother's hometown where her family had worked in the fields. My father's hometown was nearby. His family owned the local grocery store that supported the campesinos.

Mi primer viaje afuera de EE.UU. fue a México estudiar la cultura maya

I traveled with a college professor and fellow classmates for two weeks visiting well-known Mayan sites such as Chichen Itza and hidden ones surrounded by jungle. During this trip, I promised myself to travel the world.

Asistí a la Universidade de Santiago de Compostela

The following year, I moved to Northwest Spain and attended la Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. I learned a few Galician words at the same time. I also snuck onto the university bus (with Sensei Cano's permission, of course) to accompany my fellow judokas to Málaga, Spain for the University Championships.

Hice un intercambio de verano en Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico 

The best way to learn a language is to live there. When my university offered summer classes in Spanish literature and language in Morelia, I took it! On the weekends, my new friends and I traveled.

On one of those trips, I clung to Parícutin for dear life when the fear of falling overwhelmed me. A profesor from Morelia who was casually strolling up the volcano gave me encouraging words and one of his ski poles to finish the ascent. I still have ashes from Parícutin to remind me that fear is not permanent.

Iba a hacer mi licencia de enseñanza en Cuernavaca pero el programa fue cancelado aquel año

I am dating myself, but the teaching credential program with CSU Fullerton and a university in Cuernavaca was canceled when Governor Grey Davis changed funding that year. Instead, I completed my student teaching in a Dual Immersion program in Central California.

Yo empecé las investigaciones de mi tesis de máster enseñando  inglés en Hermosillo, Sonora

Seriously, I could go on, but this blog post is already too long and two different topics. Pues, tengo un poco experiencia con el idioma español.

My goal is to become an official Google Innovator. I am already an innovator in my classroom, school, district, and region. I already affect change. I want that change to be even greater. I also crave a year-long mentorship with an Ed Tech educator who will push me beyond what I already do.

My next step is to watch Sesión informativa para la Academia de Innovación en México 2016 de Google For Education this Wednesday to see if my language skills are up to par.

The worst that could happen is me dicen no. If that happens, I will apply again next spring.


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