Power of a Teacher

I love teaching.

I love seeing faces light up when “something clicks”.

I love hearing the little feet running down the hallway or up a trailer ramp with excitement of the learning that happens.

I love having students or parents years later come and tell me how much it meant for their child to have been in my classroom.

I just love teaching and always hope my students feel that from me.

~I saw this video tonight and it is a great demonstration of how one assignment can change the lives of students forever.

Sometimes I feel Like a Hypocrite

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Do you ever feel like this?? Not just in parenting but anything?

Well, I do…this weekend we made a decision to change the name of our school. I strongly believe that gifted children should not be ashamed of their gifts but taught about them. They are not better than anyone else but they are different.

Anyways- I could stand on that soapbox (and I have!) for awhile.

I cannot change that there is a social stigma against talking about or having your child be considered academically gifted.

Therefore, we are changing the name to “Wake Academy“.

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew! We will be busy the next few weeks changing everything over to the new name.

Inspiring…

The other day I was asked about teaching by a twenty-something friend. Professionally she is in the financial world but is looking for a career change. She mentioned that she has changed companies for different reasons- mainly because she didn’t feel challenged. After a few jobs she realized that it was fulfillment she was searching for in her job. And she asked me about teaching…

Through our conversation, I quickly realized how sad it made me when I realized that she had not be encouraged to pursue this – either from the media or from her family. I am sad because I cannot imagine a better job than teaching. Changing a child’s life, affecting how their attitudes about school, and just seeing them learn is so incredibly amazing. When I am not teaching, I feel a piece of myself missing. I told her how much I loved it and how I could not wait for the day I was able to get back in the classroom. I hope that my days as a teacher are considered inspiring either for students or others to enter this amazing profession.

Anyways- here is my second favorite TED Talks. Rita Pierson is SO inspiring.

Interesting Short Article about Benefits of Gifted Programs

I subscribe to a daily online gifted “newspaper” (that is what it looks like to me) and often find some great articles posted- Mr. Gelston Digest. Today, there was one about the power of gifted programs for students. Several great points were made but this one kinda stuck with me:

According to a recent report on high-achieving students, more than 7 in 10 teachers of these students surveyed noted that their brightest students were not challenged or given a chance to “thrive” in their classrooms. [1] Additionally, gifted students need gifted programming in many cases because the “general education program is not yet ready to meet the needs of gifted students” (p. 9) due to lack of general educators’ training in gifted education and the pressure classroom teachers face to raise the performance of their struggling students. [2] 

See more at: http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/gifted-education-practices/why-are-gifted-programs-needed#sthash.szlCQH6O.dpuf

YEA!! More School Pics

In case you didn’t know… I am SUPER excited about our new location! I LOVE it (can you sense my emotions about this?!).

Here are a few more pictures… I am hoping to go by tomorrow and will get a few more.

The first picture is part of the common room. There is a small area with 6 bistro tables. Each table has 4 seats. Perfect for a class to eat here. It is also right near where the classrooms are located.

eating area

The two doors on either side of the front desk area lead to the hallway of classrooms. This front desk area is on one side of the common area and the eating area is directly across from it.

entry doors

Our Amazing Location- Part 1

I cannot be happier with the location for our school. It has double doors (double security!), three HUGE classrooms, common area, eating area, fenced playground on the woods and I LOVE it.

Here are a few pictures of the three classrooms. Each classroom has access to a bathroom inside the room, sink area, windows, and plenty of space!!

I will post some more pictures this weekend.

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classroom2

classroom2a classroom3 sink area

So HAPPY!!!

We have a location for the school! This has been the biggest obstacle and today we got the call that we have space. I cannot express the excitement that I feel right now to be one step closer to offering this opportunity to children. I love the space and feel that it is perfect for us!! Pictures to come…

Oh and my shirt today makes me laugh. The picture is terrible but it has been a long few days worrying about the location. I wanted it so badly that I think I have worried myself to insomnia! But I am so happy!!!!

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New location:

107 Quade Dr
Cary, NC 27513

I always wondered…

What if the students got frustrated with the amount of standardized tests?

What would happen if all the students protested?

What if they didn’t show up? 

Well, some Colorado students did just that.

http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-high-school-students-skip-colorado-state-tests-231126434.html

standardized testing, academically gifted

PS- I thought these were the interesting statements from the article:

Critics say the tests do not represent what is taught in state high schools, and that preparing for them wastes valuable classroom time and stretched resources.

“Practically no teachers or students were involved in the passing of this legislation,” Chaya Wurman, one of the organizers and a senior at Boulder’s Fairview High School, said in a video statement.

“We’re being tested on things that we have never learned before, or haven’t learned in years,” she said, adding that many students believe they would not do well on the tests.

Homework or No Homework?

standardized testing, academically gifted

OK- I have yet another confession… my opinion of homework has changed now that my son is school-age.

I used to think it was a great way to practice skills learned during the school day and projects were a family bonding time.

Nope- not any more. I am second guessing all the homework I assigned. Was it torture, review, parents completing it, or boring for students? I think a mix of all of these. After a long day of using their brains, students need a break. They need time to pursue outside interests, relax, time for family, or just to do nothing. Kids need to learn to do nothing (this is a topic for another blog post) or play. Many like to do sports or spend time with their family. Some even want to learn more math or read new books- but this is their time.

Everyone has an opinion about this topic- this is just mine.

I loved this article written for the Washington Post reviewing research on this topic. The author raises some fantastic points about the importance of homework (or lack of).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/11/26/homework-an-unnecessary-evil-surprising-findings-from-new-research/

Accomplishments

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Everyone thrives when they accomplish a personal goal. It might be small, like taking your first steps to something larger like getting accepted to college. As one gets older, their view of accomplishments changes. What they need to achieve changes. Right now in my professional life I feel like I am making big strides. Other people may not think so and I am ok with that but for myself I am extremely happy with what I have been able to do. Today was a HUGE day professionally and personally.

I am not a writer and I don’t pretend to be. I don’t enjoy it because I don’t feel like I can do it “perfectly”.

However, I GOT PUBLISHED today! In a real magazine (Education Guide for Carolina Parents Magazine)! And it is mentioned on the front cover! Check it out!

http://www.carolinaparent.com/articlemain.php?Is-Your-Preschooler-Academically-Gifted-4234