“I don't know what to say about it,
When all you ears have turned away,
But now's the time to look and look again at what you see,
Is that the way it ought to stay?”
--That’s The Way
from: Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin, 1970
I have done quite a bit of thinking and reflecting over the summer months, and so I am opening this edition of "The Teacher’s Corner" with a quote from one of my favorite bands. Some fans might be wondering why choose lyrics from this song? To be honest, I had not given it much thought until last night while I was humming it to my son at bedtime. (Have to start them early, right?) The song has always held another meaning for me, but I am sure that my travels to gifted education conferences and subsequent conversations this past summer are the reason for my new appreciation of the last verse. It is important to stay relevant.
If you have spoken to anyone who has visited a national or regional conference in any field of education during the past year, you have undoubtedly heard that “numbers are way down.” You may hear groans from administrators and educators related to layoffs, budget woes, or cuts in funding. Newspapers, magazines, and journals continuously report and comment on the crisis in American Education. Despite this, advocates for high-ability learners, g/t programs, and resources continue to move forward. We recognize our responsibility: to preserve and promote the best educational practices around.
As you share with your colleagues or get motivated and inspired listening to keynotes, presentations, and workshops, take a moment to ask yourself, “what can I do with the information?” In the larger g/t community, we ask, "how do we have our voice heard?" Is it possible to remain relevant in a field that may fall victim to setbacks? I say YES, without a doubt! Let's take a cue from other associations, organizations, and coalitions as they may offer strategies and reform solutions. Let’s make a point to comment on blogs, offer advice to those looking for help, and submit articles to publications for general education. Let’s have our voices heard! Let’s remain relevant!
I’m excited about the coming school year. I know I'll turn to the updated NAGC Back to School Toolkit. This online resource is a great place to start for teachers, parents, administrators, and advocates. In the fall I also look forward to seeing many of you at the NAGC Convention in New Orleans and sharing specific themes, skills, or lessons in future columns.