As educators, we love sharing our knowledge and expertise with others. If you ask teachers why they do what they do, you’ll often hear “I do it for the ‘aha’ moment.” That moment when it “clicks” for a student. One of the reasons I love doing trainings with adult learners with technology is for that “aha” moment, but it’s typically in a lower tone and with less sticky fingers.
My goal of becoming a Google Certified Trainer started as a passion to find the most supportive tools to help my struggling students. Thankfully, I teach in a school district that has an extremely supportive technology department, who came to my aide and helped provide tools and training that improved my instruction. This sparked a chain of events that allowed me to work more closely with the technology department and support other teachers in transitioning to Google and leading to those “aha” moments.
Since then, I have worked with my technological partner in crime (and the Digital Education Coordinator), Kati, in training and becoming certified in Google for Education. We sustained each other with snacks and emotional support during Level 1 and Level 2 trainings and assessments. Since last December, and the successful submission of our Level 2 exams, Kati has been diligently stalking the EdTechTeam site waiting for 2 openings in their Google Certified Trainer Bootcamp.
Finally, after months of anticipation, Kati and I were attending EdTechTeam’s Certified Trainer Bootcamp. Thankfully, EdTechTeam held it in sunny (after 1 pm) southern California, allowing us to escape Seattle rain for a weekend. To say we were excited does not give justice to the stew of emotions boiling inside of me. We were elated, anxious, nervous, and ready to move forward.
Walking into an EdTechTeam training is always a wonderful experience because you know you’re going to a) learn a lot and b) make connections with some other awesome educators. This Bootcamp was no exception! We were mentored by the amazing Kate Petty. I say mentored, not trained because she dialogued and guided us through the entire two days. The room of 13 attendees clearly had a wealth of knowledge and experience in Google products and education, and as a great teacher, Kate knew how to appropriately support us. She began with addressing the anxiety- what does the exam and application process look like? What if we don’t know enough? What if we run out of time? What if we are too dorky on camera?! She eased our fears and led us through the process. Instead of talking at us, we practiced Google knowledge through a game- which allowed us to not only learn new information but also solidifying the knowledge we did have and encouraging our abilities. We studied adult learning strategies and best practices of trainers. Kate bore her trainer soul and talked us through her thought process as she led- “Inside my trainer’s brain right now I’m thinking. . . “ “My next move as a trainer would be. . . “
I can’t relate what it meant to have a group of educators I respected and befriended, around me to talk with as we all worked towards a similar goal. We were given practical time to collaborate and work on our applications, bouncing ideas off of each other and giving/receiving relevant critiques. And these relationships needed to be solidified, as day two ended with taking professional headshots of each other and recording our application videos. Kate was able to prepare us ahead of time, and ease the awkwardness that inherently happens when you’re on camera.
Kate pro-tip: If you take 100 pictures, you’re bound to look good in one of them.
But now, the training is complete and my application is submitted. Although I have 4-6 weeks to wait until I hear back from Google, I am proud of the weekend I spent investing in myself as a trainer. Thanks to Kate, I feel so much more prepared to tackle trainings, Summits, and someday, hopefully, Bootcamps. I have my “trainer bag” packed and best practices for teaching adult learners ready. Just hopefully, no more awkward photo shoots and recorded bios!
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