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.
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.