I loved Tip Sheet 7 on page 118 about How to Start A Parent Group. We have PAGE which has really gotten some parents excited about Gifted Education and the parent interaction in the community. We have had some great speakers and events for the kids to get together with other students just like them in a setting outside of school. I hope our district continues use this wonderful tool.
To BChristopherson July 9I agree that parent involvement is crucial to student success. I like how the book mentions parent support groups meeting through online social networking sites. Parents have access to numerous websites, blogs, and face-to-face groups that can help them through stressful times associated with giftedness.
In response to BChristopherson, it is very positive that our district has great speakers that come in and talk to our parents. I wish the attendance at these events would be better so that more parents are getting the information. Fortunately, there are also useful websites to address GT needs, that parents can take advantage of.
In response to BChristopherson's post of July 9th, we are fortunate to have wonderful speakers scheduled to address concerned parents on the various needs and aspects of being a gifted child. There are great resources everywhere on the web, books, conferences, speakers, and communicating with informative organizations like PAC and TAGT which can aid parents.
I like the tip sheet 6: how to create an educational plan. I especially like the item on the checklist “decide on measurable goals to focus on”. Establishing goals can clarify the direction to head in as well as build consistency in terms of expectations and consequences. I can appreciate this idea as both a parent and an educator. This checklist will provide me with a guideline that will help me communicate with parents effectively. It might even help me in the future when talking to teachers about my own child.
In response to Melanie Dulworth:It is so important to figure out and “decide on measurable goals to focus on”. Children crave goals and things to look forward to. We can set goals as teachers and parents, but it is such a big deal to help the kids help set their own goals. In this way they can also take ownership.
In response to B Christopherson on July 10, I agree that we need to support our kids in setting their own goals. It will be so much more meaningful if our kids learn how to be reflective about their learning, and set goals accordingly. This is an important skill they can and should use throughout their lives.
In response to Melanie Dulworth...I believe there has to be a connection between the learner, parent, teacher and any health professionals involved. Having a checklist will help me to better communicate with he parents. As B.Christopherson said, children grave goals. They want to succeed so we should help them set attainable goals for their success. Once these students see that they can be successful their leaning will grow exponentially.
I am interested in trying the Behavior Journal (tip sheet 9 on p. 120). I think that could provide insight about what strategies seem to be working and which ones are not with a particular child. If all of the teachers who shared a student did this, it could help as we collaborate in finding a good plan we could consistently implement.
In response to Travelingbug:The Behavior Journal is such a great idea. When we write things down, it's a better way to reflect on what works and what needs improvement. What a great idea about collaborating with the other teachers that have this same child.
In response to travelingbug- I would like to see how your Behavior Jounal comes out. It seems like a good idea- as their private journal/reflection journal might be a way to go. It may also help with behavior as once you write things down you can more easily reflect.
As I read this, I thought about my own son. This would work great with him, if nothing else to provide us with a way to see when he most emotional. As far as in the classroom, I'm not sure. There is so much to do already, and if you teach 80+ kids and carry multiple preps it makes it almost impossible.
I really like the idea of everyone working together for the benefit of the student. It is so much easier when everyone is on the same page, and most importantly, the student benefits from the collaboration and communication. Mutual appreciation/respect is discussed at the top of page 114. I do believe that some parents may feel apprehensive about partnering with the school, especially if they have had a previous experience that was negative. However, the school needs to make the parent feel welcomed and involved in the process of creating a plan for their child’s education. Collaboration between the school and the parents will create a better fitting plan for the child.
In response to KMuske, I can't agree more with your emphasis on mutual appreciation/respect between the parent and the school contacts. When we can successfully partner with the parent, it gives students confidence in the behavioral/educational expectations of school and home. It also gives the student a feeling of even more comfort and support knowing that all are in harmony in creating a plan for his/her benefit.
• Parenting Groups (pp.117-118) – gives parents a venue for sharing experiences, learning from experts, finding out about online blogs/websites, forming friendships, and being with like-minded parents (many times the parents are gifted, too!). Teachers can suggest involvement in a group like this to give parents more support in raising their gifted student. Parents in SBISD are lucky enough to have such a group in which to become involved called the Parents Advisory Council (PAC). Through participation in the lecture series, parents learn more about the aspects of giftedness, get to know one another, and form relationships that might extend beyond the group.• Behavioral Journal (p.120) – This is a great tool for parents, teachers, and students. A meeting to discuss what each party has observed and logged might shed light on each party’s perception of the behavioral occurrence(s).• Team Approach Checklist (p.121) – Once again, wouldn’t it be great if this list of tips for parents when working with others to help their child could be included in the SBISD handbooks for parents?
In response to FMoore, The parent group can be a huge benefit for all involved. Just knowing that you are not alone as a parent of a gifted child. This allows the parents to find other parents that they can bond and share ideas of what worked for them. The PAC group is a great benefit that the parents of SBISD students have. Just interacting with others and sharing new ideas can bring a positive impact to the parents and children.
P. 114 Mutual appreciation is the cornerstone to successful collaboration with the school. This information will help me as a teacher because the parents of these students also have their own views and experience with their own child. So, listening to the parent is always important as I can learn about the child and glean what the parents see at home. That can help me understand the actions for the child.Tip Sheet 9This can help me, because documenting behaviors is important to have when needs arise to share information with parents, medical professionals, etc. An ongoing journal helps to record information over time, and this can also help me to see changes or consistencies in the child’s behavior.
To Amy July 11I agree that you can learn so much about a student when meeting his/her parents. It helps to find out what the parents have seen and experienced at home, as well as what has worked or hasn't worked. This information is crucial for setting goals and planning for the student.
Sometimes I forget that parents may find me to be intimidating. (really though?) :)On page 120, there is a tip sheet for how to keep a behavior journal. I know that I have kept a journal before of WHEN I saw behaviors, such as early morning, after a certain specials class, where a student may have a conflict with that particular teacher, etc. Keeping a journal on what happened right before and right after the occurrence is an interesting idea and may lead you to discover strategies that may only work at certain times, helping you to know what strategy to apply to each situation. Another important point is also on page 120, where it is stated that sometimes things can get worse for a bit before it gets better. It's very important not to give up on something too soon!
In response to CAMallette, I too have kept a journal of when the behaviors occur and it were "severe" (for lack of a better word) enough I would throw in a quick explanation of what was happening at the time and the behavior it caused. BUT, I willl say that this is EXTREMELY time consuming.
In response to CAMallette, the idea of being found intimidating surprised me also. It had not occurred to me that that was even possible because well...I am not:) I suppose for parents who feel this way, who we are personally may be trumped by who we are professionally. I feel like this section of the book removed a veil of ignorance regarding differences in parental perception of educators.
I found the tip sheet on page 115 to be especially helpful in allowing teachers and parents to see how to create an educational plan for a student who is struggling. I especially liked the simplicity of the steps and the fact that it ends with “Keep it simple.” When we work with a student who has behavioral issues, we can sometimes over think the plan for helping such student. I have seen the result being the writing all sorts of contracts that end up becoming a burden on the teacher who now has to oversee and manage one more thing in her classroom. It ends up becoming a punishment on the teacher instead of helping the student to learn appropriate behavior and how to adapt to the world we live in. I think using common sense and embracing the idea of “keeping it simple” is crucial when dealing with creating educational plans.
I agree with PKassir..keeping things simple is the way to the way to go..I have had parent conferences in the past where a "plan of action" was developed and most of the burden fell on the teacher. the tip sheet on page 115 gave me some great ideas to bring to future parent conferences
I agree with P. Kassir's posting on July 12th when she says that sometimes these "contracts" can become a burden on the teacher and to take time to write down comments for each portion of the day for a child having difficulties is time consuming and not always effective. Work with the child, and come up with an educationallly sound plan for that child that will avoid conflicts and aid them in being more successful.
the "golden nuggets" you gleamed from chapter 9 was the behavior journal on page 120. If all teachers are logging behavior seen in their class and this is shared at a parent conference it would be a great asset to everyone. If the same behavior is being seen by all teachers than this lets the parents know that is not a problem with just one class or teacher..I will definitely give this a try this year..
On page 140, Fonseca wrote that "Flexibility and willingness to find creative solutions are the most important factors for teams to keep in minde." She also wrote aboout the importance of mutual appreciation and professionalism in the relationships between parents ande teachers.
I fully agree with PKassir about keeping it simple when creating educational plans. Question: Do GT students in Texas have IEPs? If so, is special education responsible for them?
In response to Elizabeth H's post of July 12, great question! I believe that gifted students that are also learning disabled, or have some sort of special education label are the ones that have an IEP. I do know that other states do create IEPS's for their gifted students. IT would be interesting to research this and find out which states implement IEPS for gifted learners. IT would also be good to see just what effect exists for those kids who have IEP's? Is is beneficial to have one?
In response to Elizabeth H & PKassir: I am not sure about GT specific IEPs in Texas, but I do know that GT does not fall under the special education umbrella in Texas. However, there are some states in which it does. GIEPs were the topic of discussion on a recent #gtchat. The link below was tweeted by @cybraryman1 and provides lots of resources and information about GIEPs.http://www.cybraryman.com/iep.html
Keeping it simple is such good advice from the Tip Sheet on page 115. There are sometimes too many suggestions as to what actions to take for those students who may be having difficulty succeeding or those students with behavioral problems. We appreciate the input from parents’ observations and suggestions. We appreciate input from diagnosticians who suggest plans and modifications. But when it comes right down to it …how do we as teachers deal with issues as they arise in the classroom? Keep it simple. Putting contractual daily expectations on a child is time consuming for the teacher and not always beneficial to the student. Deal with the issues “simply.” Communication with the child is essential NOT consequential actions and certainly not consequences they expect and incessantly are threatened with. Ridiculous. Go with what is educationally sound and best for the child at that moment. A good teacher will know what to do.
Chapter 9- Yes, It Really Deos Take a Village is as it states. It does take a village to make a students successful- parents, teachers, friends and family. On page 115 the tip sheet I found on how to create and educational plan is useful. I like the way it brings in all parties- not just the student. I agree that keeping it simple should help to insure success.
My Golden Nugget is the Checklist on page 121. The Team Approach is so important when the child is struggling. For the parents, and the educators, and the mental health professional to all be comminicating and updating progress in essential. As educators, we can't have the "Let me know how that turns out" feeling toward other specialist.
This demonstrates that GT kids are really special. Unfortunately many administrators feel that because they are smart, you can load up the class they will do just fine. I really feel, in my experience, that many counselors are unaware of how emotional these kiddos are. My daughter is on the other end of the special needs scale. I'm amazed at the amount of paperwork she has just for conferences. Yet, again administrators feel that because GT kids are smart, they don't need special accommodations. Sorry for the rant.
In response to Jeff,You reminded me of a school I once worked in where if you had some of the G/T students, you also got some of the students that really struggled because that way "the G/T kids can help you tutor the students that need extra attention". Really? That only worked for so long, then the G/T kids figured out what was going on and completely lost interest in "tutoring". Do you think that the amount of paperwork is traced back to the whole disproportionality issues with special education, so there is a need to prove abilities, where as there isn't that need to prove things for G/T students?
In response to Jeff and CAMallette: @Jeff-Don't apologize for the rant...this is place to do it:) Love the honesty and passion!@CAMallette: G/T students as tutors when they should be students...infuriates me! Why does this seem logical or common sense-ish to so many? Every time I hear someone propose this practice...they talk about it as if it's a win-win practice. It is more like a lose-lose practice. Especially when the students are as different in ability at the situation you described.
@ Jeff...I know how much paperwork comes with the SE student and how the GT student is left to the devices and desires of whoever. If you are looking at creating plans for kids that are 1.5 standard deviation different, certainly the GT student then deserves a plan for their exceptionality.
The three paragraphs on page 114--I know I've had to step back and accept a parent's contrasting view of his child, or vice versa. I always appreciate mutual respect and the fact that a parent comes to me first, before going to someone higher in the admin chain. On page 120, when it discussed how mental health professionals could help--I wish more parents would be more open to working with them. While I have brought up the idea of counseling to a number of parents, it is usually something that is less comfortable to have to talk about, and some parents have had adverse reactions--sometimes they don't want to recognize that it has something to do with family relationships (or they don't want other people to be aware of that), or they will insist that it is simply a scholastic problem.
I just love the title of this Chapter, It Takes a Village... And yes, it does! I love the tip sheet 6 - Creating an educational plan. I do believe that this is the approach that most of us take when meeting with the parents during the Fall conference. I also like the "team approach model". I especially like bullet #2 on the checklist. We, as teachers, have our goals for the individual student, but I think if we also knew what the parents goals or expectations were, we could do so much more.
I believe that the title "it really does take a village" is so true. The Tip Sheet #6, page 115 was a good review of how an IEP is created. Too often, this is done by the Spec. Ed people, but I think it's important that the teacher be a part of it and understands the purpose. For the purposes of working with parents, the Tip Sheet #7 page 118 is a great resource to share with parents. Often, I see parents struggle with "doing this all alone". Giving them resources and a way to find those resources or create their own is invaluable. Finally, the Tip Sheet #9, page 120 is something that I will definitely use in my contact with parents. What I really like about this tip sheet is that often parents will tell me that a child is "acting out" or "misbehaving" at home, with this vague list of behavior problems. Using this sheet to target specific behaviors puts things in perspective.
I thought Tip sheet #6 on ebook pages 173-174 could be very useful.It is important to work together with parents to solve any emotional or behavioral difficulties the child may be having in school and to come up with a plan. It is important to decide on a "measurable goal" to focus on, keeping it simple, and to involve the student in the plan.
@NDeans 7/12..I thought this was good not only for teachers but for parents. Measureable and simple are always good.
We banter, "It takes a village," but it really does. No one person is with a child 24-hours-a-day, so by all parties communicating and staying consistent, we can all rear a responsible adult who contributes to his/her community. I had never really thought about the idea mentioned on the first page of chapter 9 (page 81 ebook): "Parents [of gifted children] often are left feeling inadequate to help the problems facing their kids." I will remember this as I conference and communicate with my g/t parents.
In response to Denise,I bet that the G/T parents get a lot of conferences of "oh, your child is doing great!" and how much would they appreciate it if educators would instead open the door of communication a little wider! How shocked would they be if you started asking questions about their child's emotional health and they discovered that what they were experiencing at home wasn't that unusual?
On page 113, the author explains that some parents feel intimidated by school officials, and this feeling can have a negative effect on the parent-educator relationship. I can imagine that some parents would be uncomfortable or uninterested in meeting with educators, but it had not occurred to me that some parents might be intimidated. That word surprised me. It made me think about my behavior and body language when meeting with parents. I will definitely be more conscious of this in the future. Parents are invaluable in education, and I would hate to unintentionally impair the parent-educator relationship because of my failure recognize intimidated or uncomfortable feelings in parents.
The tip sheet on p. 120 on the behavior journals made me rethink the way I keep track of student materials. I actually keep a file for each student with grade records, behavior issues, etc. I have never tried jotting down behavior positives and negatives/strategies/consequences in the file so that in meetings I would be able to site specifics vs. generalities so that we could have document evidence of what works and what doesn't work in a given situation.
pg. 121 "The Team Approach". This is not only good for the parent to use but also for the teacher. Having a way to clearly talk about the students goals and also what the parent views as the student goals. Developing a plan to work together to allow the student to be successful. Pg.118 "Starting a Parent Group." I think anytime we can bring in professionals to speak to our parents we are both educating them and ourselves. This is great out reach that our school has developed.Having a network of support can also help to stop parent burnout. They can make those connections with other parents and realize that they are not alone.
In discussing 'the plan' on p. 115...I realized in all the STATs I have been a part of, how little time is spent really working through a plan that works in all environments or what has been effective. We tend to work in the 'generic' options. I think we don't want to spend a lot of time but then we just end up meeting more often. Hmmm...