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Building a learning community’s capacity to support the academic and social/emotional needs of gifted students is a major, ongoing effort. And you can’t do it all—all of the NAGC standards for programming—at least not all at once. Further, there is no “right” place to begin or perfect program to copy. Instead, each community benefits by understanding its own culture, needs, strengths, and more. Participants will begin the journey of determining their top priorities for gifted education by: exploring the many facets of gifted education; learning about special considerations of rural gifted education programs that serve students from diverse cultures; using gifted education paradoxes to build consensus around priorities; and learning to identify and avoid biases in planning to meet student needs.
Providing high-level cognitive tasks is a major strategy for supporting gifted students, whether in the regular classroom or through other services. However, only about 40 percent of high-level tasks are actually implemented at a high level. Research reveals common patterns in how teachers inadvertently decrease the cognitive demands through their methods of questioning, scaffolding, allocating class time, and more. In this workshop, participants will experience high-level collaborative tasks; learn to identify the differences between tasks that are merely hard versus those that require critical thinking skills; and explore the common factors that maintain cognitive demands of a task as well as those that decrease rigor. They will then work with an implementation strategy guide to plan for classroom facilitation of a high-level task.
Yes, education is all about our students, but we need energized, effective teachers with the deep motivation that self-efficacy provides. Learn how the framework of differentiated coaching fosters a “both/and” of focusing on student learning while also meeting teacher needs during the very difficult process of changing classroom practices. Identify a few key ways you can influence teachers who just don’t think like you to embrace the practices that help students thrive.
Learn how to examine new initiatives, strategies, curriculum and more for polarities — conflicting set of values that over time need each other. Understand how to “map” the values and fears of various stakeholders. Then, experience how using that information to plan professional development, determine action steps, and identify potential implementation imbalances can channel the energy being lost to resistance and debate into positive energy for moving forward toward common goals.
- Gain basic understanding of polarities — what they are, how to spot them, and how constant changes in policies are frequently the result of treating them as problems to solve rather than polarities needing ongoing attention
- Learn how to map polarities, paying attention to the positive and negative results of focusing on each pole
- Work with both a 5-step process for leveraging the energy each side expends on bolstering their own positions into positive action steps that will move the system or organization toward a common greater purpose.
- Learn how to facilitate key exercises that they can use with their own teams.
Learning Forward Annual Conference, Orlando, FL
Leadership “soft” skills such as emotional intelligence are at least as important as “hard” skills—yet are often both undervalued and harder to master. Explore your current effectiveness with four key components of emotional intelligence. Assess your current brain energy and bandwidth—your willpower, patience and concentration capacity—and the practices that will help you and your staff be more energized, efficient, effective and engaged.