My Biggest GTA Take-Away

The Google Teacher Academy is an exclusive two-day event, that brings together about fifty ed tech enthusiasts for some learning and some fun. It's highly sought-after as an experience, and many people get denied multiple times before they're finally accepted.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I had the honor of attending the event in Austin, Texas, and becoming a part of the next group of Google Certified teachers. Yesterday, I coffee crawled my way through Austin, re-energizing my introverted self and reflecting on the experience.

And you know what my biggest take-away is? I'm pretty stinkin' fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing educators in my everyday life.

When I first received my acceptance I was excited, but I got even more excited when I saw the amazing group of California educators that would also be joining me. I realized I was going to be able to share the experience with people who have already challenged and encouraged me in the past four years. And they didn't disappoint.

Victoria Olson, Karl LS, John Stevens, and Matt Vaudrey made the Google Teacher Academy experience awesome for me. These four educators challenged me, inspired me, and made me laugh over and over again this week.

However, what's most beautiful to me is that they're not just my GTA friends. These are the people who have helped me become the educator that I am today and that will continue to push me to be better in the future. I have the honor of rubbing elbows with these people on a monthly basis. They're at the conferences I attend. They're at Brew CUEs with me. They're interacting with me on Twitter. These are my people.

GTA made me realize that not everyone is so fortunate to have such people in such great quantities. These four people and countless other California educators challenge me to create a better classroom and challenge me to be a better person.

I'm learning that I need to stop looking for an event to satiate my desire to learn. Learning isn't just a task to complete. Learning happens through relationships. It happens through conversations.

So Victoria, Karl, John, and Matt, thanks for making this week great. Thanks for believing in me and challenging me and listening to me and laughing at/with me. And to the rest of you who do the same, thank you. I would not be who I am without you.