This is actually a little earlier than planned but never mind. Join me on Sunday, January 16th on Twitter at 9.00pm (GMT) to chat about Gifted and Talented matters in Ireland. Use #gtie in tweets to connect. I have no ‘grand plan’ for the session other than to meet up, introduce ourselves and chat about what we have, what we haven’t got and how we might go about getting it. Bring a friend if you like.
I have a particular vision. It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just one vision. It’s not precious. It can be added to. I’d like it added to. I’d like you to add to it so that it’s no longer mine, but ours. If something needs to be taken away from it, that’s fine too. If it’s not for you, that ok. If you’re busy, maybe another time – my door is always open.
My overall goal is to bring the reality of the educational needs of Gifted and Talented children into the conscious awareness of mainstream teachers. I’d like to do more but I’m happy to start there. I want to achieve it as simply as possible.
Much progress has been made at primary level, thanks to educational providers like ICEPE. But the absence of an existing awareness, the absence of a requirement for CPD and the absence of a standards-based approach to second level teacher training in Ireland means that second level is largely devoid of any recognition of the specific and individual needs of Gifted and Talented children.
There are exceptions to the rule. The SESS has run some pilot programmes and there are individual teachers whose passion and enthusiasm means that even if they don’t specifically cater to Gifted and Talented children, the quality of their teaching and their commitment to their own professional development results in some satisfaction to their more able students through more interesting classroom environments.
But this is not enough.
So, teacher awareness is the goal for now. It won’t happen overnight, but in time and with a little luck we can work it out.