I think about what a whirlwind of change this year has been - starting with my decision to apply for the Google Teacher Academy-Chicago, nearly one year ago today. At the time, I was just starting to organize my first-ever conference, gather a cohort for one of our district's first online classes, and start plans for my school's first competition robotics program. But, it was my experience at the Google Teacher Academy that propelled all of those into action. It was the connections I made at the academy that fueled my dreams throughout the year. So, now, when I reflect, I am preparing for year two of the Ninja Academy and am starting a series of PD for teachers and students.
I feel I am a different educator. I no longer look at what I do as a separate field, but as one working to achieve best practices. I no longer wonder How I will do something, but When will I do something? I am no longer afraid to try something new. I now have a network of support uncomparable to other co-workers. It is that network that I wish my co-workers and fellow teachers had. It is that cohort that continuously pushes me to change.
On the other hand, I want that spark to reignite me for the next year. Conferences have not left me with the same excitement that I felt being surrounded by top educators. And, I think to all of the educators who never had this experience - how would they change or who would they change if they had this experience? How would their classroom's look and who would they inspire?
So, my question is this: How can we provide teachers with their own version of the Google Teacher Academy? I know how many and how many things I impacted as a result of it. Imagine an education landscape where everyone felt as inspired....
What would you do?