Catchy title. Sounds like a good idea. Sounds like a great idea! New school year – a new start you tell yourself. This year will be different. You’ll meet with your child’s teacher before school starts to head off any problems.
You schedule a meeting, gather together some articles you’ve collected over the summer about gifted children and perhaps a copy of last year’s grades or a few assignments, and walk into the meeting with all smiles. To your surprise, the smiles soon turn to grimaces and your suggestions are met with disdain and impatience. The teacher reminds you that there will be 27 children in the class this year due to budget cuts. The soft music playing in the background starts to become annoying. “Would you like a cookie?” Not really. Dismayed as you leave the meeting with a knot in your stomach; you say to yourself, “Now I know how my child feels everyday he walks into this school.”
Overly dramatic? You may be fortunate enough to live in an area where the teachers have actually had some professional development classes in gifted education, but chances are this scenario is all too familiar.
So what’s a gifted parent to do? Year after year, you try everything you know to help your child. In the beginning, you are treated as an annoyance. As the years go by, you are labeled a ‘helicopter parent’. Do you leave your child in this school or try something else? You explore the options. Private school … too expensive. Homeschool … you have to work or don’t feel you have the adequate skills to provide your child a quality education. Cyber-school … you would still need to be home to supervise. Move to another school district … not economically feasible. Charter school … how would you know if it is any better than the public school and your child complains she don’t want to leave her friends?
If none of the alternatives are plausible, you decide to stick it out and make the best of the situation. Being the parent of a gifted child is not easy. It takes a lot of work. But you can find solace when you discover that you are not alone.
The world is rapidly changing due to the explosive growth of technology. The Internet has become a mechanism for bringing people together in unprecedented ways. And this is a game changer for gifted parents. This is where your options grow and your child’s future becomes brighter.
By utilizing social media platforms, gifted parents can join together to locate resources and educate themselves, realize they are not alone, increase interaction with their child’s school and teachers, find a life coach or gifted education facilitator, or join a community of gifted parents without having to worry about how to get to the next meeting at the school.
The possibilities are endless and too numerous to list here. As a brief introduction, consider joining a group on Twitter such as #gtchat and then follow other group members to accelerate your learning curve on gifted education. Communicate with teachers via email or suggest a classroom group on Facebook where the teacher and parents can build rapport through shared resources. Form a parent group at your local school and then schedule meetings via #hashtag on Twitter once a month. Develop a PLN … personal learning network … those people you meet who provide you with knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of gifted parenting. Discover the world of Second Life; your personal access to learning by way of an avatar in a virtual world. Suggest to your school that they consider connecting to the world through Skype. This can be extremely important to rural schools. Explore videos on YouTube concerning gifted education; not only to increase your knowledge but to find inspiration.
Sure … gifted parenting isn’t easy and it’s not something you choose, but connecting with other parents online has made the job a whole lot simpler. Good luck as the new school year begins. Embrace technology and use it to start this school year on a positive note!