As teacher resource specialist for NAGC, I often find myself sifting through a flood of e-mails. While each question presents a unique situation, there are common themes present in my inbox. Robin Schader, NAGC’s parent resource advisor, finds herself looking at her mail in a similar way. The questions she receives are very similar to the ones I receive, but from the perspective of a parent.
In 2004, Robin and then-teacher specialist Rebecca Eckert, started a dual column entitled Connecting for High Potential (CHP). Their goal was then, as it is now: “For teachers and parents to develop a broader understanding of their students’ potential and thus create stimulating learning environments.” It is an exciting experience to look at the same information from different perspectives. The teacher, in seeking to provide a solid and enriching educational experience for his/her students, often finds difficulty in communicating ideas and suggestions to parents. The same is true of parents who advocate strongly for their children, where a simple lack of understanding can lead to a host of negative impressions.
Sometimes all that is needed to open a line of communication is a simple step back, allowing the situation to come into focus. By providing conversation starters, simple definitions to key terminology, along with a host of supporting resources, Connecting for High Potential presents a key element not often found in many educational settings, a bridge between the divide that exists between the classroom and home.
Access the Connecting for High Potential page on the NAGC website. As you explore the most recent issue, "Does Being Gifted Mean Gifted All the Time?" for resources and insight, I urge you to consider the other crucial element in the education of the students you have in your classrooms, parents. You will be surprised by the commonality of your issues.