Sunday, 7 April 2019

A Reflection - My ADE 2019 Journey

2019 has been one of the busiest years of my teaching career. Even before the school year began, I was preparing for another year of study, getting my curriculum ready for Term 1 and preparing my children for their next year of school (including first year of High School for my daughter). Among all this, I knew the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) applications would soon be opening and so I was busy taking notes of what I would do. It was one of my professional goals for 2019 to become an ADE. 

When applications opened in January I was excited but didn’t get to work right away. In fact, I kept putting it off due to my busy schedule. School returned and I just couldn’t see how I would possibly have the time to put anything together
and began to resign myself to the fact that 2019 wouldn’t be my year. This kind of brought me down and I was angry with myself for letting an important goal slip by. So, a few days before deadline, I decided that I had everything I needed to make an application (photos, videos, work samples, blog articles, Tweets - everything) and that I should just put something - ANYTHING, together.

I put everything I had been collating over the last few years together and dwindled it down to what I thought responded best to what the application was asking. I created a ‘script’ of sorts and filmed myself in my classroom and edited together a 2 minute video (which, by the way, is not long enough to say what you want to say).

I watched the video over and over and edited it constantly to get it to the allowed 2 minutes and to be honest, I was not 100% happy with it. I tend to over think things and this was no exception. I remember sitting at my computer, having uploaded the video and just staring at the submit button. Was it worth even pressing it?

As it turns out, I did submit my video and application. My confidence was only around 50%. I had told myself that if I was unsuccessful then I would just have to work extra hard for the next round in 2021. I wouldn’t be upset, I would just ‘keep on keeping on’ (as the saying goes).

In this case, I was pleasantly surprised when I got the email to say I was successful. Not because I didn’t think I deserved it but because I didn’t think I had put enough effort in to the process. I’m not saying this to sound conceited, I’m saying this because, as I mentioned before, I tend to second guess everything I do.
With some not-so fancy editing I
got my face inside this badge

So, what have I learnt about this process?

First thing is that I am glad that I have kept a digital record of my teaching and learning successes over the years. It’s something that I am good at (without realising I am good at it). Not only is it good to have this for applications such as ADE but it’s good to have for your own reflection. I can look back on things I’ve achieved and look at what worked well and what I have changed since. It’s been an asset.

The next thing is that I need to stop second guessing myself. I do it too often but deep down, I know that I am doing great things and by sharing them, I am helping others. Sometimes it’s important to step back and take stock of your achievements and allow yourself to be proud without comparing to anyone else.

The most important thing I’ve learnt is that regardless of if I was accepted or not, nothing would have changed the way I think about technology in education or the pedagogical thinking behind it. I still would have found ways to make amazing learning opportunities for my students and I would still be sharing them with the world.

So, for the educators that were unsuccessful this year, please don’t be disheartened by it. Please keep doing what you’re doing and keep sharing it. Show the world that you are an innovative thinker and that you’re an asset to the teaching profession.

And for those that were successful, congratulations. It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other and share with the world. Our job of bringing innovation to education is unchanged but the possibilities just became greater.


  1. What you are doing with the young minds of the world is wonderful . Keep up the great work and never doubt yourself .

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