Thursday, January 8, 2015

Quotes to live by

"Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb about." ~Solomon Short 

Worst Category 64%
According to my newest game addiction, Trivia Crack, I am dumb in Art & Literature.  Anytime my spinner lands on this category, the game is quick to remind me that it is my worst subject.  I am usually pretty good at (or good at guessing) the Literature part, but the Arts kill me.  This is ironic because my husband is an Art teacher and you would think I would know a little more.  It's OK though because there are other categories that I am quite knowledgeable about while he is "dumb" about them.  Regardless, Trivia Crack is just a fun game that usually drives me to competitive craziness.  

One of my favorite quotes for myself and to use with my students is "Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb about".  Often times, gifted kids (and their teachers) are expected to just know everything.  While gifted kids have a large knowledge base, there are things they haven't learned.  There are also things that they will struggle to learn and understand.  I hope to teach my students that it is OK and NORMAL not to know everything.  I hope they use opportunities when they feel dumb to learn and expand their knowledge.  After all if you don't know what you are bad at, you will think that you are good at everything and never learn anything.  

Honestly, it doesn't bother me much when that nasty message pops up to remind me that I am dumb at Art, but when I miss a History question, I can guarantee you that I am researching the correct answer.  As silly as it is to get fired up about a trivia question or losing a game, I do.  I want to be smart at History.  I want to know more and perhaps I need a game to remind me that I don't know everything.  One of my goals is that my students always remember me as a teacher that pushed them to learn, and not just rely on what they already know.   I also want to be transparent enough with them that they know I am often times dumb too.

What about you?  Have you considered what you are "dumb" at?  Are you teachable, or do you believe you know all you need to know?

Monday, January 5, 2015

To blog or not to blog... That is the question of the New Year.

I have to admit that though I love reading other people's blogs, starting my own is quite scary to me. The fear of writer's block and "what will readers think" seem to overwhelm my already anxious mind. However, I haven't been able to stop thinking about creating one.   Over Christmas break, I came up with some ideas that involve my students creating their own blogs.  I'm not sure that I would feel right having my students create a blog without doing one myself. So I decided to give it a go.  


I don't remember being identified as gifted/talented, but I clearly remember being in Ms. Prater's GT class in elementary school. I'm pretty sure my school only offered GT services in elementary school.  I did take advanced classes as well as classes with upper classmen while in high school. I never really thought much about giftedness while in school, but I remember being quite different than my friends. When my son was identified, I started learning about characteristics of giftedness.  Soon afterwards, I found myself as the GT Coordinator and teacher.  Through several trainings and a lot of reading, I have learned quite a bit about giftedness.  Being GT is something that often makes you stand out or stand alone (or both). Sometimes it feels like a gift and other times like a curse. The more I learn about giftedness, the more passionate I become about teaching or in better words coaching my students (and my two gifted sons).  I want them to grasp their gifts and talents and use them to better the world.  I often tell them that I want them to use their "power" for good, not evil.  I believe that a brilliant mind can be warped in to something scary if children are not loved and guided correctly. I often find that when I am coaching and trying to encourage my students, I am saying things I need to hear (or needed to hear in the past) myself. Our district has embraced the slogan "know your why" this year.  Our goal is to identify why we do what we do and then remember it when the going gets tough. I think that my passion for guiding gifted kids (who probably have the same struggles as myself) is one of my whys. Yes, I have more than one. 

Lion Geek

A few years ago our district started a group called the Lion Geeks.  I quickly found myself with a group of teachers and administrators that seem to think like me.  They all had a love for teaching and were very enthusiastic about using technology in the classroom.  As Lion Geeks, we work on plans for our campuses, help train other teachers, and get to check out cool tech devices.  My social studies classes compete in the National History Day contest and it requires several avenues of technology. Being a Lion Geek and being with other geeks like me has helped me bring even more technology and knowledge to my students.  Most recently, our school has become a Google district.  This was a move that sent me into total geek mode.  I am currently training to become a Google certified teacher.  It seems there is always something new to try in my classroom. Google gets me excited, and guess what, it gets my students excited too.  Excited students = ecstatic teacher. 


In future posts, I hope to write on topics relating to giftedness, technology in the classroom, or my favorite... BOTH.