Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Thank you for your interest in and application for the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Class of 2011.  We received a record number of applications and were pleased and encouraged with the high quality of applicants. We can't begin to describe the difficulty we had selecting the new Class of 2011. 
Unfortunately, your application was not selected for this year's program.
After a full day of anticipation and waiting, at about 5pm last night I was finally informed that I will not be a part of the ADE class of 2011. Knowing that  Chris Betcher, blogger and podcaster extraordinaire, also was not accepted helped to greatly reduce the sting of this rejection, however it never feels good to get the no vote.

I often say that if you aren't failing, you aren't really trying. I still believe that is true. I'm sad I didn't make it, but I'm glad I tried. It was fun to make the video and I do believe I gave it my full effort.  The wise words my network had to offer also softened the blow.

 Chris Betcher 

@ From Cool Runnings, "A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without one, you'll never be enough *with* one.

 David Jakes 
To all of you who didnt make the  class, let that be motivation for learning more, being more, and never giving up.

I have also been thinking about why I applied. I have to admit to some ADA, GCT jealousy. Not having any letters to put after my name makes me feel a little left out of the club. So many people I respect in my field have these marks of approval appending their bios. Does this make me less legitimate because I don't? Does this make me worse at my job? Maybe not in reality, but I have to own up to the envy.

Dan Callahan tweeted this in the wake of hearing about our ADA results:

 Dan Callahan 

@ @ @ I roam the open fields of the world untethered by corporate certificates. I am a Certified Free Range Educator

As an educator, what role should corporations play in my professional life? As much as I love Apple and Google products, why should they be certifying me? Should it not be the other way around? Should Apple and Google be applying to us for our stamp of approval?

In case you are interested, here is the video I made for my ADA application:


Jabiz said...

Liz you bring up some great points about the role of corporations ans education. I struggled with applying for ADE as well, wondering if I wasn't somehow selling out.

I know what I do is valuable and important by the reaction I get from students, year after year. Full stop.Nothing else matters to me. I got into this game to change student lives, no award or corporate stamp of approval will change that.

So why did I do it? The main reason was to test myself and see if I could do it, but now that I did get accepted I am left thinking, now what?

Will add a little ADE to my Twitter profile? Will I somehow be more respected because Apple deemed me special? I hope not. I will continue to work hard with my students and do my thing. I will use the platform Apple has given me to share my knowledge and expertise with others and hopefully learn form other educators.

This is nothing we are not already doing within our networks. Let's face it the teachers make ADE not Apple.

So you may not have the little letters next to your name, but your students don't care and neither do we. Keep doing what you are doing we are listening and need your voice.

Andrea Hernandez said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am all too familiar with the "corporate stamp of rejection email" as I have applied twice to be a GCT and once to be an ADE. Unfortunately, neither google nor apple provides any feedback on the application, so I am only left to wonder what was "lacking" in either my video or my application.
I have to say you are in excellent company. As I watched the ADE tweets yesterday, I was amazed by the high quality of the "rejection" group. I thought the videos (of those who shared) were pretty great, too. I loved the pure sincerity that shone through in your video.

It's nice to receive validation for what we do, but it will never be the reason we do it. I would rather be recognized and acknowledged by my peers and my students as a distinguished educator than by Apple or Google. In fact, if you want to feel better, share your video and this experience with your students. I guarantee they will be outraged on your behalf. On a final note, I realize that having had these experiences, as personally difficult as they were for me, make me a better educator, as they help me relate more to what students go through when they work hard to do their best at something and it isn't acknowledged the way they would like it to be.

Liz B Davis said...

Jabiz - I know I respect you more now! Just kidding. I am very happy for you and I am sure you will learn a lot and meet a lot of great people during your week at ADE "camp." That was something I was looking forward to.

Andrea - It is funny, last night I dreamt that the email they sent gave me specific feedback about my video - what they did and didn't like. Of course they don't do that which makes it hard to apply again. What would I do differently?

Overall I am really fine. In fact, I'm a little relieved to have a week of my summer back and more time home with my kids. I know inside that I am already a distinguished educator. Thanks to both of you for your support!

Jaymej said...

My reactions to the "rejection" email were much the same as your - disappointment mixed with excitement that I gained a week of summer vacation with my kiddos!
(The fact that so many others in my PLN were not accepted, helped ease the blow a bit too, I must admit.)

There are some programs/awards I for which don't bother to apply. When I ask "What is the purpose? How will it help me grow? How will it influence my teaching? In what ways will it benefit my students?" - and the answer is merely for the title/recognition/sake of being recognized...then I know that it isn't worth the time to prepare the application.

The ADE program seems like it would do all of the things above: lead me to grow professionally, enhance my PLN, help me better utilize the technology our school already has, provide me with ideas to enhance my students learning experiences. That is why I applied in the first place, and that is why I will try again.

Good luck next time around!

Durff said...

Oh Liz, you don't need that -> you are #1 anyway.