In a previous blog, I shared the following information:
“Passion has led me to apply for the New York Google Innovator Cohort 2019. If you haven’t heard about the Google Innovator Project, you are missing out an amazing PD opportunity. I have been working on my application for a few months and have just really realized that I want to focus on accessibility/assistive technology in my school district. It is the best of both worlds for me, technology and special education. Some may think my passion is crazy but I wouldn’t be the teacher I am meant to be if I didn’t have this desire to make my students to achieve to their full potential. It does help to have administrators who are completely supportive and family who support me and my passion.
Having a passion may make you crazy but your students are going to blossom because you have a desire to make things happen for them and provide the best opportunities for achievement in their own terms. “
It’s now September 2019 and my adventure continues.
I applied for the Google Cohort for New York. After some reconsideration and some soul searching, my project changed from Assistive Technology to figuring out how co-teaching can be better in the classroom.
The application process was one of the hardest things that I have ever participated in during the summer. During the process, I graduated with my EDS in Instructional Technology and presented at 2 different conferences about Google Collaboration for Co-Teaching, which explains my change for my subject matter.
The application process is so many different questions about your thoughts for your project and completing a “ how might we” question that could be answered through a year long initiative with the help of Google and other Innovators. There is also a video that has to be shared and created for under 60 seconds to explain your “how might we” statement. After several revisions of my application from friends and other Innovators (thanks to Twitter), I felt that I had a great application and hit the submit button. This cohort is the only one in the States this year and the competition was fierce with so many different projects. After an agonizing 9 day wait, I would know my fate on 8/13/19. Literally, I checked my email all day and Twitter to see the other hopefuls for #NYC19 but we would not find out until 8:30pm that night. The way I found out was an email that just said: “Congra…” in the subject line and I screamed so loud that both my husband and daughter looked at me like I was crazy. Ever since then it has been a wild ride that includes some really fun hung-out with fellow NYC cohort members and being split into different teams. There are times that I still can’t believe that I get to be with such cool innovators because in my mind, I am just a special educator who loves to use technology in the classroom. It is almost as if I feel like I am an imposter who doesn’t really deserve to be there but I think everyone goes through this especially as you challenge yourself to grow in various ways. I get to go to the Innovator Academy at the beginning of October and I can’t wait to start this fantastic journey.
But this is where Passion comes into play. If I didn’t have this passion to answer my How-To question, then I wouldn’t have applied for this cohort and this really amazing program. I hope you can find your passion and make it happen for yourself.
I would love it if you would follow me along on this crazy journey @kygirlinalabama.
Jessica Reed is a special education teacher at a middle school in Georgia. She has been teaching for 11 years. Jessica’s undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education from the University of Kentucky. She has a masters in Collaborative teacher (6-12) from the University of ALabama. She has her EDS in Instructional Technology from Kennesaw State University. Jessica is a Google for Education Trainer and is a member of the Google Innovator Academy-New York (#NYC19). She loves to talk about any and all things Google. You can find her at www.spedtechteacher.com. She is married to Robby and has one daughter, Elizabeth (2).