Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting Started

It's my turn!  Seabury's teachers have been doing a great job blogging about life in their classrooms at Seabury.  I've decided it's time for me to join in the fun and share some of my thoughts and observations about life at Seabury and about the adventure of working with gifted children. 

Just for the record, I struggle every time I use the term "gifted."  It is the term used in the educaton community and in the media to talk about the children we serve at Seabury.  But it can conjure up so many myths and wrong assumptions about our students and about our attitudes toward children.  Many times in my career in gifted education I have had both parents and educators tell me, "I don't believe in gifted education - I believe ALL children have gifts."  I couldn't agree more.  It is true.  ALL children - without exception - have gifts.  And all children deserve to have their gifts recognized, nurtured and supported.   

We generally recognize that students who show exceptional promise in athletics or in the arts require special training tailored to their individual ability level if they are to develop those talents.  One writer pointed out that we don't train our Olympic swimmers by having them teach beginning swimming.  "Gifted" education is nothing more than that.  It is appropriate education for students who think and learn differently than typical kids their age.  They are kids who might be reading early or showing exceptional ability in math.  Students who understand things that others their age don't, or who have the insatiable desire to know everything there is to know about a subject that interests them.  These children aren't more special.  They just think and learn in a special way. 

That's why I'm at Seabury.  Because I believe every child deserves to learn something new at school every day.  Because I believe all children have gifts and can use those gifts to make the world a better place.  And because "gifted" kids, just like all kids, thrive when they are challenged and stretched and have the chance to think big thoughts and explore big ideas. 

I look forward to sharing stories about our kids and their educational journey with you!

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