NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Cynthia Sandler, librarian/media specialist at North Salem Middle/High School, is one of 50 people selected from a worldwide roster to attend a two-day, tuition-free professional development course offered by the Google Teacher Academy.
Applicants were required to create an original and self-revealing one-minute video, based on one of three choices suggested by Google.
Sandler’s choice of a topic was motivation and learning.
“It was the most relevant to what I’m doing,” she said. “I wanted it to be authentic and reflect what we take seriously at our school. I used a lot of students’ voices and I asked them what motivates them. If kids are motivated, they can learn just about anything.”
The Google Teacher Academy course, to be held Oct. 3 and 4 in New York City, offers hands-on experience with Google educational products and introduces other technologies. Participants finish the course with a title: Google Certified Teacher. The experience carries beyond the two-day seminar. The educators come away with an action plan based on new knowledge and a commitment to sharing the new information with colleagues, students and the community.
Before coming to North Salem four years ago, Sandler taught English at Nyack High School. In addition to her library and media responsibilities at North Salem, she is the adviser to the Video Club.
Was Sandler surprised to be one of the chosen?
“We were supposed to find out about acceptances by Aug. 5. The day came and went and I didn’t hear anything, so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll try again next year.’ Then, at the end of August I got an email from someone identified as ‘your GTA New York team leader.’ I couldn’t figure it out. Somebody said, ‘Check your spam folder’ – and there it was, all along.”