Friday, March 25, 2011

Going Up? A Gifted Education "Elevator Pitch"

 Do you have an elevator pitch for gifted education?

What if you suddenly have the (brief!) opportunity to speak with a key legislator, administrator, or perhaps skeptical educator or parent about gifted education (note: actual elevator not required).  What will you say?

A little preparation will help you think clearly, make the most of the moment, and forward the cause of gifted students.

GT education is important:
  • For the future: Confining students to educational environments they don't find challenging or supportive doesn't give them the tools necessary to become the innovators, the creators, the leaders, nor the involved members of the 21st century global community who they have the potential to become.
  • For educational best practices:  Teachers trained to work with gifted learners benefit all students. Many successful learning strategies now touted in regular classrooms due to their benefits in flexible grouping and academic rigor actually originated in gifted education. 
  • For meeting children's needs:  Every child deserves to have his or her academic and socio-emotional needs met.  Gifted learners from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly dependent on public schools to meet their educational needs, but these students are also especially likely to be unidentified and underserved.
Each of these points is a reason for advocacy and hours of discussion onto itself.  However, the idea is to summarize and present three key points as to the value of gifted education in the time span of an elevator ride (approximately thirty seconds to two minutes).

Be clear and brief. Speak with passion. Be prepared and flexible about answering questions--ask for the opportunity to have a more thorough discussion!

NAGC advocacy themes


    1. I feel as though advocating for my gifted kids is difficult enough without taking on the plight of ALL gifted kids. But with the financial state of public schools and the general lack of understanding we've encountered within the school system itself of what giftedness is even about, I feel like we're slowly sinking in quicksand with no hope for escape. My son isn't engaged at all in his classroom. We grade accelerated him from 2nd to 4th grade this year and that helped. We do what we can outside of school (see my blog for a post about our recent visit to an M.C. Escher exhibit, for example) but when my son describes school as "a waste of his time" I can't blame him. And now our younger son, who, due to budget cuts, won't even be tested until 4th grade, seems to exhibit similar tendencies. Without being tested the school won't officially identify him as gifted therefore he won't be eligible for any gifted programs (although just about all of those have been cut at this point). I feel like my kids are languishing and I don't know what to do about it.
      Sorry to vent, but this isn't a topic that most other parents I know can relate to!

    2. I am so glad to find these links- we have many great connections and friends to interact with- but none who really "get" the gifted thing.
      Most people have a very vague idea of what it even means.
      We had such a hard time within the school system itself that we have been homeschooling for several years.
      I have to say..... we really love it! (don't worry- I understand it's not for everyone) It is working for us - but I am nonetheless thrilled to find some gifted mama bloggy friends.
      Brilliant post by the way- I will work on my "elevator pitch"

    3. Kathee,

      Sorry to leave an off-topic comment, but I couldn't find any contact info for you on the blog. I wanted to ask about a guest post. Please drop me an e-mail!