National Parenting Gifted Children Week 2012
Friday, July 20: Advocacy for gifted children – teaming with educators
Are you interested in forming a GT Parenting Group?
The type of relationship you form with your school district will affect your long term success. Our GT organization has fostered a strong partnership with our school district by identifying how we can benefit each other — which ultimately benefits gifted kids. Here are some to consider.
1) Provide scholarships to educators to attend state and national conferences and special sessions on GT needs. Result? cultivates GT understanding among your educators and saves the district training money.
2) Educate your community by providing speaker series, SENG parent discussion groups, a lending library, book study sessions, and newsletters. Result? parents aware of GT lingo, and creates a more cohesive group where everyone understands and appreciates not only their child’s needs and quirks, but what he or she has in common with all gifted kids.
3) Enrich your students through activities, classes, competitions, summer courses (see our MOSAIC classes). Result? funding for scholarships, relieve some of the burden on the district to provide enrichment, celebrate gifted children and support their social needs.
4) Partner directly with your district
– Connect through regularly scheduled meetings where a free exchange of ideas and information occurs (we have monthly meetings with campus reps and our Director of Advanced Academics and other district administrators as special guests). Attend school board meetings and volunteer for ISD committees. By being knowledgeable about the decisions that are being made, you can provide information and perspective to the GT community and feedback to the district.
– Collaborate to meet state standards. Your parenting group can provide resources and support. In fact, “the opportunity to participate in a parent association for the gifted/talented is provided to parents” is listed in the Texas State Plan for the Education of GT Students as an “Exemplary” standard (see §5.1.2).
At times, you or your parent group will need to advocate for gifted kids. Through my experience as an attorney, I believe that Newton’s law of motion (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction) applies to human behavior as well — you push, they’ll push back. The amount of force by which they push back depends upon the reasonableness with which you first apply pressure.
When advocating, apply the 4 Ps of Persuasion:
1) Be prepared. Know the facts, confirm the understanding of the facts at the beginning of the discussion.
2) Be professional: appreciate the perspective of the other side. Don’t just criticize — instead, offer a solution in which you are taking on some of the burden.
3) Be persistent (and be willing to compromise).
4) Be polite. Never lose your temper.
GT parenting groups are a great resource to gifted kids and their parents. They can be a great asset from the school district’s perspective as well. Parents, educators and communities need to work together to meet the unique needs of the gifted. If we can become allies, instead of adversaries, we will create an environment where GT kids can thrive.
Interested in more information about National Gifted Parenting Children Week? Click here for more blog listings.
Interested in more information about forming a GT parenting group? Email us.
You can also join the NAGC Webinar for FREE on starting a GT advocacy groups on July 25.