One of the disappointments of events that are bound by time, space and money is that some people are rejected. That’s what makes the Read/Write Web and new communication technologies so powerful–more of us can be engaged and participating than ever before.
When I facilitated Problem-based Learning Academies a few years ago–with Jennifer Faulkner, Lisa Ham and Dr. Alice Owen-Farsaii–I always wished we could pack more people in. Getting to know people was what made the experience exciting and engaging for me. When I consider the Google Teacher Academy for Administrators, I’m excited to have the opportunity to interact and build relationships with other folks, perhaps asking similar questions and facing ill-structured problems.
I’m grateful to be accepted to GTA for Admin being held in San Antonio, not because it’s Google, but because of the opportunity to network with educators from around the Nation. It’s those relationships that are more important than any one organization, right? Those are the learning connections. That said, I am thankful to Google for facilitating that connection, bringing in great speakers and planners (like Henry Thiele).
But what about those who didn’t make it? It’s a bit of a downer to not get accepted. While some are choosing to frame their rejection letter, what if you were to write them back? What might that look like?
Since I was curious, I decided to give it a shot…here’s the letter I might have sent GTA for Admin if I’d been rejected:
Dear GTA for Admin Selection Committee:
Thank you for your prompt response to my application to the GTA for Administrators. I jumped out of bed every morning and stumbled groggily to my computer, hoping against hope that the acceptance letter would be there. This afternoon, I found to my dismay that I had not been selected. And, as I hear the notification bing for the tweets of those who were selected coming from my speakers, a part of me wants to “power down” and slip away…nurse my wounds in private. But I will not.
You see, I already am an avid, enthusiastic supporter of what it takes to be a Google Teacher teaching in an age of innovation. Somehow, my application didn’t make that message clear. Even now, as I sit here mustering the intestinal fortitude to keep going in the face of disappointment that I won’t be joining others as committed and excited about google-powered leadership and management, I am asking myself, “What can I do to help other educators understand the power of connected learning, creative collaboration, and innovative intelligence?”
This rejection letter, which I’ve framed and put on my wall next to me, will serve as a simple reminder that to succeed, one must experience failure. To yearn for freedom hard enough to fly, one must experience the gravity of being grounded. Next time, Google, it won’t be you who lacks the space for just one more GTA candidate to fly high. It will be the organization I work in that tried to clip my wings, to prevent people from achieving the nascent power of personal learning networks.
Thank you for the rejection that grounds me and forces me to strain against the bonds that bind me.
I have an image or picture in my head. It’s an angel struggling to break free from the ropes that bind it to the ground…it manages to get airborne, a few feet off the ground, the wings flapping heroically, its desire to be free and fly with the others in the clouds above palpable in its face. And, just as the final strain promises to drag the angel down to the ground, the ropes break, and the angel surges into the sky, the cool wind carrying it aloft, drying the beads of sweat, the freedom of the experience soothing away the creased brow and a song springs to its lips.
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure