I want to preface this with the fact that the Google for Education Certified Trainer program is really great! It required me to learn about G Suite in a way I had not prior to earning the certification, and taught me some thing about teaching an adult audience. It also connected me with a community of amazing educators who also held the credential, people who were generous in sharing materials and advice, and asked questions that would move their own practice forward.
If it’s so amazing, why did I let my certification lapse?
I’m a classroom teacher, and halfway through the year I was certified, I changed districts. Part of the deal is that you have to offer 12 training sessions in a year, which doesn’t sound difficult, but for me it was. While you are able to count that one-on-one coaching session with your teammate, one of the things you have to include as evidence is the training materials you used. I don’t blame Google for asking for this. What else would stop someone who was a little short on their training session quota from fibbing a little about who they met with and what they taught? for me thought, probably 90% of my “coaching sessions” were on-the-fly questions colleagues had about how to do a specific task or fix a particular problem. To create a training tool after the fact felt like busy work that I didn’t have time for, or to tell that colleague they would have to wait until I had time to create a training tool to teach them something that they could learn in two minutes felt self-serving, and as though such a short “training” shouldn’t count anyway.
Had I pushed more to offer training sessions to the staff in my building, particularly before leaving a district I had worked in for several years, I may have met my quota. Being a classroom teacher in a different grade, school, district, and state this school year didn’t exactly put me into a position to feel like I should be leading others, nor did it put me into a position where others knew enough about me to seek out help if they needed it.
If you’re in a role that you’ll be offering a lot of training on G Suite for Education, I highly recommend the program. If you’re the Google Admin for your school or district, I recommend it even more! If you teach your class and sometimes help your colleagues figure out how to do something new in G Suite, the Google Certified Educator program may be a better fit for you instead. The re-certification is every 3 years instead of every year, and you’re not required to offer any training sessions during that time.