This week coming New Zealand is hosting its annual Gifted Awareness Week – a time when we hope to reach more eyes and ears in an effort to alert the general population to this special group of people in our community – the “gifted”. In many ways they have been prone to losing the use of their gifts or having their uniqueness shunned through general ignorance of those around them. Continue reading “Gifted Awareness Week New Zealand”
Following on from yesterday, watch this Find Your Great Work Movie – by Michael Bungay Stanier. Michael challenges us with five ways to find our great work:
- Things only get really interesting when you take full responsibility for the choices you make.
- Changing your focus changes what is possible.
- You must make the full choice – what to say “yes” to, and what to say “no” to.
- If everyone’s happy then you are not doing great work.
- If you’re doing it yourself, you are not doing great work – will you open the door to others?
Great work will make a difference to others. Sometimes we can be so wrapped up in what we want to do, we forget about our impact on others. Being empathic takes you out of the zone of self-fulfilment to ‘other centred’-fulfilment. As teachers, we need to look at our students to see that they are truly learning, before we accept any praise for ourselves. Unless they are truly learning, we are not truly teachers. Are we?
Just a thought to ponder online, as you prepare for the variety of students in your class this year!
This got me thinking – it was just an interlude that started to challenge my ‘procrastinating’ personality. Watch the short video – The 5.75 Questions You’ve Been Avoiding – by Michael Bungay Stanier and ask yourself if the .75 question is numbered correctly! Is it only worth .75, or should it really have been entitled the “5 and 100 questions”? Continue reading “The 5.75 Questions You’ve Been Avoiding – by Michael Bungay Stanier”
How well do you cope with changing circumstances? If you find it hard – if you like a comfortable routine with all things in their place, and everything defined just so – then teaching the gifted could be a challenge. Sally Reis described them as “Many, varied, and unique”, and fitting into a regular square box is not one of their fortes.
With each gifted child comes a challenge and a sense of wonder as to how they think. Take this challenge as a chance to get to know them better. Be open towards them and you may be privileged enough to build a real connection with them. Listen to the heart of the parent, behind the concern for how their child is coping at school. They have already lived a ‘lifetime’ with these children before they even start school.
There isn’t much more that one can say, except – give them a chance to show you their world, before you label them according to your own view of the world.
Momentum certainly started to increase in the attempts to meet the educational needs of gifted students since the changes in the New Zealand National Administration Guideliness in February, 2005. There has been a slowing to some extent, in keeping with the global recession, but things are still improving.
Please don’t expect this to be a miraculous overnight panacea. Some parents of gifted children will tell you that change has been slow-moving in their schools. Others can report brilliant changes to the management and implementation of gifted education in their schools. Continue reading “Hope for the Future”
Some days I just get overloaded with everything I seem to want to do. We can fill our lives with so many activities, that we scarcely have time to take a breath and enjoy it! And when push comes to shove – I have to resist the temptation to become paralysed by overload, and end up doing nothing at all!!
Our gifted kids can be like this, too. Some are perfectionists, and a quick brush with a topic is not rewarding for them. Life can become too full of activity – music lessons, tennis coaching, tutoring in maths, orchestra practice, ballet, homework – trying to reach their potential in all they can achieve. Then, suddenly, one day, they can simply say, “I have had enough!” At this point – no, preferably, way before this point, we should be seriously considering “what are good limits?”
Do you sometimes just want to do something different. Ever felt like that? Take a different route to school? Cook dinner a different way? Or maybe, expect something to happen in a different way? I thrive on change, but amongst some of our gifted children, I would be the outsider, not the norm.
You don’t have to be gifted to find change difficult, but there is a tendency among some of the gifted to find change increasingly stressful. A change of teacher, timetable changes and transitions, a sudden change in the arrangements for an outing, or even a change to normal routines at home, can bring out a tenacity in some gifted people that will resist change at all costs. Often it could be a resistance to changing their opinion, or a resistance to seeing things from someone else’s viewpoint, or simply a resistance to finishing what they are working on.