Mindset Matters: Larissa’s Journey to Google Certified Innovator Academy #TOR16 #GoogleEI

Techie educators unite for #PubPD Twitter chat in a Toronto bar!

I’m not really sure where to begin for this post, I have so much going through my mind at this moment! I’ll start back in May, shortly after being turned down from the #COL16 cohort of Google Certified Innovator Program. On May 26th I attended #PubPD at a local Toronto bar with my usual like-minded techie educator friends. I knew there would be lots of talk of the fact that I didn’t get accepted, and I nearly didn’t go, but I forced myself because I always come home refreshed and inspired after these #PubPD meet-ups. Everyone was super positive, gave me great feedback and I was told numerous times to be sure to apply again. Even with the support system around me, I could still feel that fixed mindset trying to sneak through and convince me that it was “safer” not to apply a second time so I didn’t have to go through the rejection feelings again. As I drove home after that PubPD night I still hadn’t convinced myself I could go through all of the hard work and spend so much time coming up with a new innovative idea, slide deck, video and everything that goes along with the application process.

THEN…as I’m driving down a dark Lawrence Avenue at 10:00 p.m. on my way home from PubPD that same night,  I look up from the steering wheel and see this sign:
WHAT?? I must be dreaming…I turned my car around and had to go back to get a photo of this “sign” (literally!) and to double check that I wasn’t seeing things.
When I get back there I see this:
…and several other messages about water polo tryouts and exam schedules scrolling quickly across the screen until finally, it came back to the one I wanted to see. “Success happens when you choose not to quit”.

This meant that as I was driving I had to look up in the right direction and be driving by at the PERFECT MOMENT to even catch the sign with those words on it in the first place. I took this as my sign that I needed to apply to GCI again. Fate, maybe? Who knows…but that sign was enough to kick my fixed mindset in the arse and keep me moving forward with my hopes to change FSL education for the better.

I decided to apply again, take the growth mindset route and hope for the best!

Spring forward to September 6th, 2016 the day we found out if we would be accepted into the #TOR16 cohort. It was the first day back to school for me after summer break, and because they didn’t email us until the evening it felt like the LONGEST.DAY.EVER! Then at around 8 p.m. while in the car on the way to the walk-in after hours emergency clinic for my son (because he has to get sick that same day to keep it more interesting, obviously!) my phone beeps, I look down and see this:
GCI Acceptance Email Aradj

WHAAA??? My poor husband had a screaming child in the back seat and me screaming with joy in the front seat!

It was official, I made it! I was accepted to the first ever Canadian GCI cohort that would be taking place in my very own city of Toronto (#TOR16)! It’s hard to describe the feelings, but I kept thinking back to that sign…I’m not sure if I believe in fate, but regardless if I do or not I learned a lot about myself and the importance of growth mindset. The notion of “growth mindset” is something we repeat to our students all the time but I think as adults we forget to apply it to our own lives sometimes. I need to continue to remind myself that success DOES and CAN happen when you don’t give up!

I want to thank all of the people who motivate and inspire me all the time, especially those who attend #PubPD regularly! You know who you are!

Larissa.RafranzTOR16Also, I want to give a shout out to my amazing GCI Coach and friend Rafranz Davis (@RafranzDavis) who has pushed me to think about and not be afraid to tell my stories even if writing isn’t my strong suit!

Takeaways from my experience at
TOR16 Academy blog post coming soon.

Thanks for reading, and please try to remember that mindset DOES matter!


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