I was so excited to receive the email this week welcoming me to the Google for Education Certified Trainers program!
I first heard about this program a couple of years ago, but didn't think it was for me...yet. While I helped people around my school(s) often, I wasn't really leading any trainings or presenting to groups of people. I decided to pursue my Google Certified Educator Level 1 Training. I studied all summer and was excited to pass the test!
I knew I wanted to keep going further, but between teaching full-time and being in grad school, I had limited time and energy. It wasn't until the next summer that I studied and took the Google Certified Educator Level 2 test! While the Level 1 test was a good review of many things I already used in the classroom, the Level 2 course taught me more. It was definitely challenging, but I was excited to accomplish this goal!
As I changed jobs, I realized that I am leading a lot of professional development, and the time seemed right to work on my Google for Education Certified Trainer badge. The problem is...I was still in grad school, and the thought of studying for one more thing (other than my finals and PRAXIS) was just too much to handle. It wasn't until after I finished everything for my degree (February) and took a moment to breathe (spring break) that I completed the application. The Trainer Course was not too time-consuming, since I had already done my Level 2 certification, but the application process made me reflect on how I teach and why I do things the way I do. I answered the short essay questions, and moved onto recording my video. The 3-minute limit filled up quickly! It took me several takes to be as concise as I wanted, but I finally ended up submitting my video at a length of 2:59. *Phew* After a couple of weeks of waiting (I may or may not have been checking my application status nearly every day), the email arrived - I had been accepted! Hooray!
Even though it's only been a few days, I have already appreciated learning from the forums and connecting with other trainers. It's fun when those connections span multiple platforms, as well - finding friends on Twitter in the group or vice versa allow us to strengthen our #PLN connections!
What's next? Well, I've had some amazing friends encouraging me for awhile to work on my Google Certified Innovator application. I've really wanted to do it since first hearing about the program, but just didn't feel like I had the time or energy to really give it the thought that it deserves. [Side note: When I decided to get my Masters, I knew that saying "yes" to that would mean saying "no" to future opportunities - it just took discipline to stick to that so I didn't burn myself out!] But now, the time has come. To be honest, it scares me more than any of the other certifications I have gone for. I know it's very competitive, the odds are slim, and I don't like failure or rejection. Yet I also know that playing it safe and never taking risks is not the way I want to live! Working on the application has already forced me to reflect and grow, and no matter what happens, I am convinced I will be a better educator for it.
I'm sure there will be more posts coming on this blog as I further develop my ideas for #GoogleEI! For now, I will just leave you with this - if you have ever thought about going for any of these certifications, I'd encourage you to do it! They are well-done, applicable, and help you grow in your skills, no matter what your role is in education. Feel free to reach out if you want/need feedback and/or help - I am so appreciative for my #PLN & real-life friends who have helped me along the way!