Rejected for Google Certified Innovator? Don’t Freak Out!

September 2021 Reflection and Introduction: One risk of blogging is writing something that ages poorly. For instance, on March 9, 2020, I wrote, “The fears over Coronavirus may be more hype than substance. Without a crystal ball, we cannot know the future for sure.” That sentence’s downplaying of the pandemic is  the worst thing I have typed on this blog.

This blog post too has aged poorly. Not because of the message I conveyed but because of the messenger I chose. This post has a video of Jimmy Dore saying, “Do not freak out!”

Since 2016, Jimmy Dore has sympathized with the Boogaloo Boys and celebrated his own harassment of a colleague. Rather than delete the post or rewrite it, I leave it here with this acknowledgement as a healthy reminder of my fallibility.

With that, read on for an important message to anyone recently rejected by the Google Certified Innovator program.


Viewers of The Young Turks are used to Jimmy Dore screaming, “DO NOT FREAK OUT!” whenever Bernie Sanders has a setback.

That is my advice to all those who were not accepted to this round of the Google for Education Certified Innovator program. Does the rejection sting? Of course, it does. I know that pain from two previous rejections before fortune smiled on me this time. Still,

Don’t freak out!

My argument focuses on this question: What are you doing to attain your goal of being a Certified Innovator? Are you documenting the awesome things you do on your website and YouTube channel? Are you speaking at and attending as many EdCamps and education conferences as you can? Are you connecting with other educators on Twitter?

If you answered, “no” to any of those questions, I humbly suggest changing that.

If you answered, “yes” to all of them and still were rejected for Google Certified Innovator, I have good news:

All the things you do to pursue Google Certified Innovator advance your career, improve your skills, and open doors even if you are never accepted as a Google Certified Innovator!

Have I convinced you your pursuit makes you better? If not, I have a concrete example from my life.

In 2015, I was happily teaching secondary Social Studies for an awesome school district outside Philadelphia. Then fate moved my family to North Carolina. I needed a new job. I wanted to be an educational technology coach and assumed I needed to attain Google Certified Innovator to get that kind of job. Still, I saw an opening for one and e-mailed the principal:

I had an interview and offer within a week. The steps I took to attain Google Certified Innovator got me my dream job! Imagine if I had e-mailed the principal just a resume! I owe Anthony Gold and his ideas on career domination for making me realize I had to shine the light on what I did in my classroom because no one else would do it for me!

And finally…

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you are still processing the sting of your application rejection. I have been there twice. The first time was a Hail Mary pass – I had taken few of the steps outlined above. My video (long since deleted from YouTube) was a complete mess. However, in January 2016, I knew I had it. I felt strongly about my application. As Google e-mailed acceptances, they e-mailed me letting me know the link to my Google Educator Level 2 certificate did not work. I was humiliated. Claiming to be an innovator, I had messed up the sharing setting of a PDF in Google Drive.

If I can rebound from that debacle to attain Google for Education Certified Innovator, you can too. And if you don’t, congratulations anyway because you are so much better for pursuing your goal.

If you would like to discuss this topic further, comment below or tweet me at @TomEMullaney. Thanks for reading.

I used the Google Certified Innovator logo in the image for this post.

Update (5/29/18): Yes, this post opens with a reference to Bernie Sanders, who ultimately did not win the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2016. But look at how he has moved the Democratic Party towards fighting for Medicare for All and successfully pressured Amazon to pay a $15 minimum wage. Think about that post-failure impact as you regroup and plan your next steps.

Update (2/16/23): Yes, Bernie lost in 2020 (despite winning in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and California!) but he still continues to have an impact. Think about that as you regroup from rejection.



  1. Thank you for this! Yes the rejection stings but I think I have a solid idea which I plan to keep pursuing. Toronto was just not in the cards for me. But I know I will get there eventually.


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