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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Teaching Gifted Children

What an amazing summer I am having. For the first time in my life, I am teaching gifted students. I have felt for a decade that this is an area of mission for me, but I had no idea it would bring me such joy. I have taught two weeks of computer animation and will teach four weeks of Lego/Logo. My students have shown such a capacity for learning that they have exceeded all of my expectations. I know that NCLB has done some good things, like highlighting the difference between achievement in different racial and socio-economic groups, but gifted children have been almost ignored by the federal government. Joan Franklin Smutny has dedicated her life to the gifted, and her incredible staff works intensely to meet the needs of the students. The Center for Gifted link is in my easy reading list.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The End of School

I am always a bit flummoxed at the end of the school year. The pace for the last month of school builds to a crescendo of paperwork, packing, and seeing old friends one last time. This year is especially poignant because I really won't see the staff at Hawthorn again, except maybe when I'm shopping. It's hard to say good-bye to people who are amazing in their capacity to care. It's also hard to face an uncertain future with a new age group far from most of what I have done in my career. Summer school poses a new challenge as well, as I will leave delayed preschoolers and move to gifted kids, grades 2-6. I hope to inspire and challenge all of them in classes about animation and Lego-Logo. Stay tuned for further adventures.