Halfway House

pink ribbon girlNo! I am not in rehab, if that’s what you were thinking. But I have shifted and I am halfway back home to my house on the Shore! Actually just waiting for the last flatmate to shift out and then I’ll be back with my precious grandson as we all prepare for the arrival of his baby sister later in September. He will be such a good big brother. He already looks after himself and his mummy like a good young man should.

It only seems like yesterday when I had two youngsters packing their own lunch boxes into their bags in the morning and getting their shoes ready at the front door ou peut on acheter du viagra. They also had to eat their breakfast, clean their teeth and put their pjs under their pillows, from three onwards! Those were their daily chores, and they got a little surprise each week they managed to do them. Made things much easier for a quick getaway to work in the mornings.

Tyrell started basketball training again tonight. All of 5 years old, playing on the Breakers’ own court. So proud of him when he took the shot at goal that would either earn them all a drinks break, if he got it in, or five pushups for everyone if he didn’t. He did a few bounces and then shot the ball way above his head and straight through the hoop! He’s been practising shooting the hoop since he could just walk and I bent a wire coat hanger into a ring for him and mounted it on the retaining wall outside. Four years and about ten different height hoops later, and he can shoot with the best! He is not even daunted by the full size hoop at the local park – giving it a go with great gusto – and nearly sinking it much to everyone’s amazement! He is still a little shorty like his Mum, but he is reaching the heights of his Dad!

For many parents with a gifted child, they can be erroneously given the name “pushy” when they make opportunities for their children to excel in their given field. Just as we have given Tyrell the opportunity to excel in his sports, and encouraged him to do his reading homework every night, parents of the gifted mathematician, or acrobat, or social justice promoter are keen to give their children opportunities to excel at what they love to do, too. They want to expose them to all things so as not to prematurely cut off their potential. But as the title of a recent thesis I read on gifted education said,

“If you talk, you are just talking. If I talk, is that bragging?”

So sad, and yet, so true in many unfortunate cases. Parents of gifted children too often have to enjoy the pleasures with their children quietly, so as not to seem like they are bragging. Yes, we have all heard those that speak far too much about what their kids can do – and that is why this situation exists. But, deep down, we are just cutting off their flower heads, (poppies are often used here), the most beautiful aspect of the flower. But, in doing so, we kill the stem and support of these kids – both that of their parents and their self-esteem. These people end up living to limbo – another sort of halfway house – where they are not so sure they have a permanent place where they can be happy for their kids or not.

In the Bible, Jesus wouldn’t let the little children be stopped from coming to Him. He embraced them all with open arms. Advocates in gifted education are ever hopeful that our children will be embraced with open arms – and their parents, too.

Rapunzel’s Story

Beautiful young woman looking in the mirrorWe know the story and the line … “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair.” The handsome prince climbs up – I used to cringe at the thought of his weight pulling on her hair! But do you remember why she was in the tower in the first place?

She was there because she had been tricked into believing it was not safe for her outside the tower. She was a self-imposed hostage. Have you ever put yourself in a safe place where you dare not venture out from, lest you get hurt? Have you kept your distance from people because you were scared of intimacy in relationships? Have you not put yourself forward for a promotion because you couldn’t bear the shame if you missed out?

It is not a good place to be, with a “mark down” label. Other people seem to love it at sale time, when they get the benefit from someone else’s “mark down”. But if you are the owner, you definitely feel the pinch each time you sell an item under cost!

So, how is it that some people can bounce back from hard knocks in life, while others feel permanently scarred from them? The simple answer comes in the knowledge of knowing who you are, and knowing how valuable you are. Your value is not at the whim of the market place. Your value is tied up in your whole being; you were valued as an heir right from birth.

Helen Calder spoke more wisdom this morning at Harbourside’s “Free To Live” Women’s Conference. Speaking from Judges 1:12, when Caleb offered his daughter Aksah to the man who could capture a named enemy, his younger brother took up the challenge, and Aksah was given over to him like a chattel. But later, when she asked her husband to ask more from his brother, Caleb, he hesitated. But God does not want us to be affected by others around us who may hesitate in their spiritual walk. Caleb himself asked Aksah what she wanted, and it was given to her – in a double portion. She stepped out of the limiting mindset of the tower, and was able to get the springs to water her inheritance.

Can we look at limiting factors in our lives today, and step out of the limiting mindset we have, to gain a fresh perspective?

I know for myself, I had been held in a limiting mindset for too long, and Helen’s message this morning encouraged me that my decision to break free was a wise call, and in God’s will for my life. Be blessed and walk free, like Aksah.

NB Helen also explained that ‘Aksah’ meant shackles and bondage. A woman with this name could have taken on the attitude of a victim, but instead, she took on the true attitude of an heir.

 

The Course

These have to be the most insightful words I have seen written by a parent, about their participation in their children’s education, in the last two centuries!

The Course

A great blog for those interested in non-school education of the gifted. Thank you all at “Chasing Hollyfeld”

“Are you going to be the one to understand me?”

Gay Gallagher has just had a great article published in the NZ Journal of Counselling 2011, pp70-86. It looks at insights into gifted students that School Counsellors may need to understand in order to meet their needs effectively.

Are You Going to Be the One to Understand Me? delves into gifted student theory and characteristics, as it pertains to New Zealand Education. The title is a personal plea from one of those students studied, who found many counsellors didn’t have a clue about how she thought!

Thank you Gay for your thoughtful and researched presentation.

Please read this for insights to help understand the ‘many, varied, and unique’ students our gifted are (description thanks to Sally Reis).

 

The Sweetest Sweetcorn

For those who don’t know, I am in Samoa with my creative-gifted husband, working on raising the tourism dollar post-tsunami. Another entry to my weekly update for folks back in New Zealand, this week, involved much about giftedness – repeated here for your consumption…

Gifted ideas in Samoa tourism
The sweetcorn patch

Harvested the sweetcorn and had our first meal – what a sweet treat that was! A few meals from the beans, but the tomatoes are s-l-o-w ripening!! One nearly turning red, out of about 450 last count!!

Three months of using the long drop – not a milestone I am particularly pleased about – and I may have a flush loo in a day or two!! Continue reading “The Sweetest Sweetcorn”

Gifted Awareness Week New Zealand

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”

“Find Your Great Work” Movie – by Michael Bungay Stanier

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:

  1. Things only get really interesting when you take full responsibility for the choices you make.
  2. Changing your focus changes what is possible.
  3. You must make the full choice – what to say “yes” to, and what to say “no” to.
  4. If everyone’s happy then you are not doing great work.
  5. 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!