Gifted Services to students in Math and Language Arts
How many years have you been teaching?:
I am from San Antonio, Texas, but have traveled the world since I was sixteen, living in three different countries, including Austria, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. I have also traveled throughout the United States and visited many areas of Europe, South America, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. These experiences have magnified the value of diversity, helping me to appreciate the contributions of other cultures. I have a B.A. from the University of Texas in Middle Eastern Studies and a Masters of Education from Texas State University. I am also a newly certified Yoga Instructor!
In our classes for gifted students, we had student-led conferences at the beginning of the year for students to share their goals with their parents. It went very well! There were lots of awesome conversations between parents and their children.
SLCs put the power in the child's hands. They get to be the leader and let their parents know what is important to them (goals) and what they plan to do to achieve them. And it provides for this wonderful interation between them, rather than me doing all the talking and the child just sitting there. Most parents didn't have questions for me because their children did so well explaining things.
Thanks for the comments and questions. I decided to have these conferences after some unfavorable feedback from a family the previous year. I wanted to start from the very beginning of the year with better communication. I invited all families to attend and sign up for the available slots. Almost 20 parents took me up on it out of 35 students (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th). First I asked them to share about their children and then I answered questions they had about the program or what might be different about this year. Mostly I had parents whose students were new to the program and were unfamiliar with how it worked. I don't start teaching my gifted students till the second week of school so that they can become familiar with their homerooms. I have plenty to do the first week (testing transfer students, checking records, etc.) but thought this was a valuable use of my time. It helped to establish a relationship with new families. It also reminded me of the things parents really care about - how their child is going to fit in and what struggles might occur. I have been able to make some changes based on the feedback I received. No other teachers did this, but I know it would have been more of a challenge to fit it in during conference time that first week. I want to do it again this next year. We have a bigger group of students and I may need to limit it to new parents to start with.