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TAGT Conference 2015 : Reflections from Educators

January 11, 2016

Coppell Gifted Association was pleased to sponsor 29 Coppell ISD educators and administrators to attend the annual TAGT conference. In December they travelled to San Antonio and enjoyed a variety of sessions.  We are delighted to share the feedback from some of them:feedback1

I had a wonderful time at the conference this year. Each year I go, I am always inspired to implement new, challenging activities that I learn from my workshops right away. This year, I went to a session on how to write more thought-provoking, engaging questions for my GT learners in the classroom. I was inspired to change the wording of some of the essential questions in my Persuasive Writing unit in order to get GT learners to think more in-depth and analytically.

I was also able to present a session for the first time this year, and that was truly a great experience in that I was able to reflect on all of the great things I am doing in my GT classes. Additionally, I felt as though I gave other professionals ideas that they could easily implement in their GT classrooms, so it was wonderful to be able to reflect on my own teaching while also contributing to the professional world of education at the same time.

Thank you again for the opportunity!

Suzanne Johnson / CMS West

I loved hearing Jack Andraka speak! He was so inspiring and proved that anyone is capable of making a difference in the world.

Leah Gottlich / CMS East

It was so inspiring to attend the event with hundreds of people who share a concern for supporting gifted learners. There was a great assortment of sessions ranging from the latest scientific research to how to incorporate gaming into a classroom management system. Thank you again for the opportunity!

Kathryn Soles / CMS North

The TAGT conference was a great experience! It was refreshing to hear from fellow GT educators and encouraging to realize that Coppell truly is leading the pack in education. I brought home applicable ideas to challenge my GT learners and engage their creativity!

Thank you so much for providing me with this experience!

Megan Boyd  / CMS East

My favorite session was one led by a child psychologist about learners with anxiety. I have many anxious learners in my classroom, so I was interested in the information that I received on causes of anxiety, and some strategies to use when learners are feeling that way.

Thank you again for the opportunity to attend TAGT.

Heather Judd / Town Center Elementary

It was such an enjoyable conference. Thank you again for the opportunity. One of my favorite parts of the conference was hearing Jack Andrava speak. He, as a teenager, came up with a way to detect pancreatic cancer that was both quick and inexpensive. He talked about the necessity for access for all people, not just rich universities, to have the ability to see other’s research without an exorbitant fee. He was young, intelligent and a very engaging speaker. I bought his book and also got to visit with him.

I also enjoyed the session on “Powering Lessons with Student Curiosity”. It gave some techniques to engage your students’ minds and have them anxious to learn about the what you are going to be teaching. An easy example was putting something in a box and have the class guess what it is, using yes or no questions. When they finally guess, it will be a key to the lesson. We did this in the session and it was fun, silly but effective.

It was time well spent and such fun to be with other teachers from around the state.

Tanya Gottlich / CMS East

This year at TAGT I especially enjoyed learning about a GT screening survey specific to the underrepresented population of bilingual learners. I am looking forward to studying this more in depth and sharing this information at the district and campus level. Thank you CGA for giving me the opportunity to be inspired!

Martha Brown / Denton Creek Elementary

As always, the TAGT Conference was a great experience. And the fact that it was held in San Antonio this year only added to the enjoyment. From sessions regarding teaching, learning, and assessing gifted learners to the use of higher level questioning and class discussion to build understanding to the basic foundational components of leading a GT program, the conference was enlightening. Not only was I able to accompany two colleagues to their first TAGT Conference, I was able to bring back a wealth of info and insight to share with the campus.

On a lighter but no-less-relevant note, my colleagues and I were able to get together with Deana Harrell and eight elementary GT specialists for a nice dinner on the Riverwalk. It was a rare but welcome opportunity to discuss gifted education with individuals from a different level.

“The man who ceased to learn ought not be allowed to wander around loose.”     –M.M. Coady

Matt Bowden / Coppell High School

I loved my time at the conference. I was blown away for the keynote speakers. Both were engaging and really challenged us as teachers to raise our game and to help our students be the best they can be and not impede their progress in the name of checking off boxes on our list of things we feel they might need. Use our students as a guide and to help them work symbiotically with us. Most of all I loved the new and innovative ideas for classroom engagement and I am looking forward to using some in my classes this year. Thank you again so much for sending us on this amazing experience.

Bill Visco / CHS


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