Monday, July 4, 2016

#COL16: Finding My Tribe

#COL16
I recently finished Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin. While reading, I kept thinking to myself, “I want this. I need this. Where/how do I find this?” I want to be part of a tribe, and part of something bigger than myself. I’m so thankful that I found my tribe in my #COL16 cohort, part of the #GoogleEI family.

First, let’s rewind. Back in January 2016, I applied for Google Innovator, but wasn't accepted. By far, the application was not my best effort, and I readily admit that. However, I’m so thankful I didn’t get in the first time: I learned a lot through the process, and more importantly, I’ve transformed into a very different person since January (read more here). Coming to the COL 16 experience, I’m much more mentally mature, confident, and ready to tackle the world. 

#TeamShoe broke out of the
Breakout EDU bus!

On Wednesday night I arrived in Boulder, Colorado (after spending Saturday to Wednesday at ISTE, reflection blog post coming soon) rested and ready to engage in 3 action-packed days. The following days were filled with time working in our teams (shout out to #TeamYoshi!), in partners and small groups, and listening to some incredible humans inspire us to think deeper and dream bigger.

My brain is still buzzing with all of the incredible conversations and memories from last week. Here are my biggest personal takeaways from #COL16:


I unintentionally limit myself by what I think I can do, not what I actually can do
Over time, I’ve built artificial walls around me, and told myself “I can’t do that” or “I’m not capable of achieving that” or even worse "I'm not good enough to do that." After some incredible heart-to-heart conversations with friends and coaches this past week, I’ve realized that there are very few limits to what I can do; the walls around me are slowly coming down.
Thanks to the swag team
for making our t-shirts happen!
“The only thing holding you back is your own fear.” (Seth Godin)
Embrace “Living in Beta”
Shout out to Molly Schroeder for sharing her Spark session on “Living in Beta.” This 
concept pushes the boundaries of my 2016 One Word: intentional. With this mindset shift, I’m more willing to put out my ideas for feedback, iterate, and learn from failures. I hope I can see Molly’s full keynote sometime soon to revisit and think on my own “Living in Beta” journey.


#TeamYoshi,
Led by Jennie in the Back
I have found my tribe
My #COL16 family is my tribe, and so is everyone else who has been through the Google Innovator Academy (previously Google Teacher Academy). I felt the love from #MTV16 as they supported us through our adventures, and I felt the love from all the #GoogleEI friends I met and connected with at the Google Meet-up at ISTE. I’m thankful I can laugh, cry, and celebrate with my #COL16 family. I couldn’t ask for a more selfless, giving, creative, and crazy group of humans. 



We have a lot to be thankful for!
#COL16 coaches & program managers
I appreciate everyone who worked hard behind the scenes to make our cohort possible. Hugs to our coaches: Jennie Magiera (Jennie in the back!), Sarah Thomas, James Sanders, Sergio Villegas, Kern Kelley, and Molly Schroeder! Thank you program managers: Wendy Gorton, Becky Evans, and Michelle Armstrong! Thank you to all the other Google and EdTechTeam people for making this experience possible for us.

Also, a big shout out to Justin Birckbichler and Ari Flewelling for your support and guidance through this process. I couldn't do this without you! 


In the next few weeks I’ll start working on my Innovator Project. Stay tuned...

Thank you Google Boulder! 

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