At 2 a.m. this morning I decided to check my email.
background…(I fell asleep trying to help one of the little ones go to sleep and woke up around 1:45) I had taken the last two days off work to take care of my children while my wife is out of town for the annual Girls Getaway Weekend, so I have been pretty busy. My wife’s parents took us the SC basketball season opener against Alabama A&M (Good start to season with 88-50 win; Downey effortlessly amazing again!) so we all got to bed late.
The email that has me up at this moment writing this blog is one from Google, inviting me to go to the Google Teacher Academy in Washington, D.C. on December 9th. Pretty quick turnaround time considering I was up Monday at 2 am turning in my application. My first thoughts were to call my wife and tell her the good news, but being so early it will have to wait. I couldn’t tell my kids either. Being from the Washington, D.C. area (Crofton, MD) I am excited to be able to get a chance to visit with my parents, siblings, relatives, and friends. I read through the e-mail, completed my invite acceptance and printed it out, just to make sure it was real.
I then immediately checked out some Tweets to see who else was going to GTADC. I decided I would follow those who were also going to GTA so I would know a little bit about them when I got there. Obviously, they also would be worthy educators to follow afterward too. Among the others chosen was a colleague of mine, Chris Craft (Crucial Thought, Spantube.org) who teaches Spanish in a middle school in my same school district (School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties). I am interested to see if there are any other Certified Google Educators from South Carolina. After reading about some of the other DC-bound educators, I decided I better get some sleep, as little feet will come a calling soon.
3 a.m. Can’t sleep…too excited.. mind filled with questions. When should I go? Dec. 8th. Should I drive? fly? Should I stay in the suggested hotel or with family? Will there be a lot of people to meet the night before all-day event? Should I come back on Friday? Saturday? or spend some time with family? Will my district pay for any of this trip? Is this personal leave or professional leave? At minimum I only be at work one day that week.
4 a.m. Now my thoughts turn to the actual academy. What will it be like? (Google Certified Teacher site) What role do I play in this learning opportunity with these other educators? Am I a novice compared to them? What do I expect to gain? Should I be super-outgoing or quiety soak it in? Am I doing this for self promotion; street cred.? Should I have a bigger picture in mind while there, such as my district or state needs? Is there a suggested dress code? Will I be less prepared because I don’t have any gadgets? (Just got my first cell phone 7 months ago.) What does Google expect out of me?
5 a.m. Time for bed… really… wait, should I document my GTA journey from application to event? Blog it? Tweet it? Documentary film? How do I prepare for the GTA? I have my “Web 2.0 course” I teach for Coastal Carolina in the spring – will this experience totally change my syllabus for future classes?…too jacked up to sleep, I guess I just blog my thoughts so I can get them out of my head.
No sleep tonight (today)!
So, never open an email at 2 a.m. or this may happen to you.