Friday, November 30, 2012

Sour grapes...not really

I am a Google Certified Teacher, an Adobe Education Leader, and a DEN STAR and GURU. I earned each of these distinctions by helping others, providing continuing support in the areas of expertise that I have, and I feel like a very valued member of each community. Two of the three require formal reporting of activities and re-application to continue to be a member. The goals of all three are clear and I know what I have to do in order to stay a part of those communities -- support other members of the community and all educators who request help and support.

I have been thinking about assessment lately. When we assess students, we always give them feedback. We let them know what they were successful with and things that could have been improved upon. Many times, this feedback goes hand-in-hand with a rubric the student had access to before the assessment.

I have applied to be an Apple Distinguished Educator twice and a Sony Education Ambassador once. I feel I have something to offer to both groups and I would also love to learn from the other stellar educators who are part of these communities.

I have been turned down all three times. I spent a lot of time studying what each community was all about and worked hard on the applications and products that had to be created. I didn't make the cut because there were others who did a better job than I did and/or were more qualified. That's fine and that's the way it should be. 

But how am I going to learn to grow to better meet the needs of what the communities expect without any feedback? I assume there were rubrics for judging and that there were educators who were members of the community who were judges. What about giving all the applicants their summary scoring sheet including how they were scored? 

I encourage all organizations who are creating educator support groups to include the scoring rubric being used in addition to the overview of the program and the expectations for becoming a member before the applications are submitted. And then provide both the winners and losers with a detailed score. I want to become a better educator. Share your organization's vision of what that looks and feels like with me, please, so I can continue to grow!

No sour grapes...really!