I enjoy using this blog space as an opportunity to interview others, and learn from what drives them. Over the past few years, I’ve made a concerted effort to gain knowledge and expertise of many of the technologies that can be used to improve classroom instruction. Recently, a dear friend and colleague of mine, Maggie Bolado, has completed several of the Google Educator certifications, and I wanted to ask her about the process.
Why did you choose to get certified as a Google Educator?
I am always looking for things to teach others. I am blessed to always have a captive audience who is willing to learn with me. All things Science comes by default in my nature – but when the opportunity to equip my kids (I mother 140+ kids in Rm 11) with edu trends that facilitate their learning arises – carpe diem! GAFE is an invaluable resource to this generation of students– no matter where they are in the scaffold – I can make it a positive juncture. The more time I spend in with my kids, I understand that I pipe-stage for a living. I am the metal tube that kids can climb on and [this time] GAFE provides a working surface that my scaffold crew can work on – If you can picture that.
What was required?
Google required just a mental commitment of choosing to make a positive impact to those I interact with. I brought that to the table months before the training began. While GAFE use is universal in many contexts – I knew why I was there, who I was there for and how each one of my kids was going to benefit.
How will this benefit you and your students?
I am, by nature, inquisitive & curious. Some of my students have not developed those traits yet. Enter Science Teacher. I seize any opportunity to show them how much I love learning. I absolutely love to model innovation & creativity. They have seen me take small steps and they’ve heard about the giant leaps that have made Mrs. Bolado famous. They are convinced I am a 21st century teacher – I can hear it in their questions, I can see it in their eyes as I communicate information. I am in the ropes-and-rescue business. This certification allows me to perfect the applications of rigging in their vertical realms and mine.
What advice would you give to teachers considering Google certification?
Shy from another tool in the toolbox – this certification makes me a more versatile teammate and rescuer. I possess information that can be used in a variety of ways and in any number of environments. The training offers insight to distinctive venues essential to the classroom otherwise overlooked by traditional PD. Docs & Drive are excellent tools that facilitate student and teacher collaboration. Calendar is another collaborative tool that facilitates creating, planning and sharing lesson plans among Google groups. Gmail’s agenda is to organize the collaboration. Training middle school-ers how to collaborate, share and organize is 6th grade 101 to me.
What other types of learning challenges do you have planned for yourself in the coming months?
Oh gosh – please don’t judge me. I will be applying for the Google Teacher Academy 2015 later this month. I want to learn from the best in an effort to bring out the best in my kids (and me!) I want to pursue a Google Trainer certification as well – hone that delivery! I have plans to apply for grants over the summer so that I am financially able to pursue a Master of Science in Biology – perfect my content! I’d like to challenge a middle school Math certification – connect with my kids on a different vector and add credibility to the interdisciplinary strategy that is a quality education.
What continually impresses me about Maggie is her “Carpe Diem” spirit. She seeks out learning opportunities, and seizes them, all in an effort to pour herself out for her students. Maggie’s example, as well as the examples of numerous others like her, honors our profession, and calls us higher. These are relentless educators, paving the way for the students of this generation, and the next.