What happens when you invite the latest and greatest educators to Google Teacher Academy in Mountain View? You become a family. The GTAMTV14 cohort is an amazing, talented, and inspirational group of teachers, administrators, coaches, and other educational professionals who were chosen to become Google Certified Teachers. Many of us met on July 29th at the Tied House in Mountain View. Caren, one of our cohort, organized and collected funds for us to rent a large room with appetizers and drinks. Andrew, another one of our fabulous members, brought us t-shirts that we all ordered while we got to know each other in our G+ community.
But there was nothing more exciting than getting to Google at 8:00am on July 30th. Seeing the Google Teacher Academy banner, our lead learners, and all of us in one big room, ready to learn and collaborate. There were many breakout activities, and most of the time, I was able to sit with a new group of people in order to get to know my cohort better.
I met my half-Asian twin, Michelle at dinner. I met Josh and Michael in real life (still trying to figure out when Michael and I did a Google Hangout previously) during an activity. I learned so much from Simon, Darren, Brian, and Josh in the Frozen and Lego Movie rides back and forth from the hotel and in photo opportunities around Google. My roommate at the hotel, Karen, was a lot of fun to hangout with and wind-down with incredible conversations each night. She joined Michelle, Julie, and Melinda on our trip to In-N-Out for our #burgerCUE, and we had a lot of fun together, especially taking pictures around the In & Out sign (the locals laughed at us). At the hotel poolside, Adina, Mark, Tara, Natalie, and many others joined us in more Voxer fun. One night, Matt, Jeran, Amy, Catina, Ryan, and several folks gathered at the Strata Hotel dining area to further the fun and learning as well. There were so many opportunities to chat and laugh with each other, to build this amazing learning community together. Unfortunately, two official days just wasn’t enough to get to know each member of the cohort. I’m hoping that the G+ community and the GCT email lists will help us keep the connections and build-up the ones we didn’t make at GTA.
That all said, there were definitely folks I was able to spend more time with and get to know better. We’re still chatting a lot on Voxer and on G+, and we’re finding we have a lot of similar goals, wants, and dreams for our students and for the future of education. I feel really blessed and honored to have these new friends in my life. They inspire me, motivate me, and make me a better teacher by their influence, support, and ideas. Someday, I’ll stop pinching myself and wondering how I was able to get into GTA with all of these amazing minds. For now, though, I will just enjoy my new family of GCTs.
I’m looking forward to this new journey.