I found out yesterday. I didn't get in. The letter said they had a pool of 1,300 highly qualified candidates but could only select 25. I should be sad. I am, a little, but not too much. I'm also charged up!
Because of my applying to GTF, I made a great connection with an outstanding Science teacher at my new high school (who applied last year but didn't get in) and we have plans to collaborate on projects for our students. We have also decided to work together and both reapply next year. Even if we don't get in, it is a great chance to create quality real-world educational activities for students.
It has also given me the chance to reflect on all the opportunities I have experienced. In 2004 (or 2006?) I was chosen to participate in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (FMF). It was amazing for me and my students. If you are an educator, I highly recommend you check out their new program Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
Then came the Smart Exemplary Educator (SEE) Summit in 2011. I had not applied the year before as I figured I would not qualify (shot missed). Thanks to the encouragement of Kimberleigh Hanft Doyle I decided to give it a shot. Swish, made it! Another incredible experience. Fifty like-minded educators learning and sharing about all things SMART Technologies at SMART Headquarters in Calgary, Canada.
It is impossible to place a high enough value on that experience. It has improved my teaching practice. It has given me the opportunity to present and share with other educators. And those SEE #smartee I met there? They are the reason I finally began building up a proper Personal Learning Network (PLN) on social media. It is the snowball effect of positive collaborative interactions. I do not know how any educator can survive without a PLN.
There have been other great experiences since then. Such as Google Teacher Academy, and presenting at GAFE summits. I am now more willing to take a risk and put myself out there and just take the shot. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
I have gained so much from these opportunities and from my PLN and it all started with taking a shot.
Google Teacher Academy (GTA)
I am an alumni of #GTANY October 2012