Today’s blog post is written by guest blogger, Ben Mountz, physics teachers at Downingtown High School East and an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE). In today’s blog, Ben wants you to consider applying to become an ADE and he gives you some great reasons why! You can subscribe to Ben’s blog here.
by Ben Mountz
One of the greatest professional experiences of my career has been my involvement with the Apple Distinguished Educators. Twenty years ago, the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) program was founded by a small group of educators who were passionate about using the tools of technology to foster better education. Today, it is a organization of thousands of highly-talented education professionals who contribute to a global professional network. Innovation, creation, and a culture of sharing are hallmarks of the ADE community.
Four years ago, on the recommendation of an Apple trainer who visited our school, I applied to be an Apple Distinguished Educator. Somehow (I still don’t know how), I got accepted. Not that I had low expectations from Apple, but I was expecting to receive some sort of inkjet-printed certificate of completion in the mail that I could frame and put on my wall. What I received was a host of friends, skills, and experiences that would take me around the world (Phoenix, Ireland, Austin, San Diego), and to opportunities I’d never imagined (presenting at state and national conferences, getting published on iTunes U, and speaking at Apple events). I still don’t know how I got here – but this I do know: I love it.
Here’s the point: This same opportunity awaits you. Are you passionate about what you teach? Are you an administrator who is trying to cultivate real and innovative change in education? Then the call of the Apple Distinguished Educators is there for you. Don’t be intimidated by the high caliber of the educators in this group; everybody who is an ADE questions whether or not they belong. Everybody. This just underscores yet another remarkable trait of ADEs: their humility. (I’d better be careful here, lest I start bragging about humility). But it’s a great duality of this group: talented and motivated, yet humble and inclusive. Everybody is made to feel welcome – and it has changed my perspective on the education profession. I highly encourage you to apply. It has been one of the best things I have ever done.
At the time of this writing, the application period for new inductees has not yet opened, although it will open VERY SOON. Here is the link to the site for the Apple Distinguished Educators program. Watch for the application window to open! (You will need an Apple ID to sign in). Give it your best, and know that there are still places out there where you are encouraged to show how distinguished you really are.