Why, you may ask, is Mrs. W starting a blog?
And I shall answer you:
BECAUSE IT'S COOL!!!
Not really, though I DO think it's a *little* bit cool :)
No, I'm starting this blog because I care about the education of gifted kids. And not just any gifted kids...my gifted kids. The students I teach every day are young people who have the ability to change the world in lots of spectacular ways, and if I help even ONE of them reach a little farther, fly a little higher, or run a little faster, I will count my career a success.
This blog is a way to communicate with my students and their families, but also to share ideas with other teachers, both those specializing in gifted education and those just looking for some thoughts about how to stretch their high-ability kids a little more. Many educators know that regular classroom differentiation is usually not enough for these students (more on that in a later post), and I want to help teachers find ways to open new doors for their gifted charges,...
...which brings me to my next point: the name of this blog. Pandora was, according to Greek mythology, the first woman. Her name comes from two Greek words: pan, meaning all, and doron, meaning gift. Now, these words can be combined in English to take several different meanings, but I choose to focus on the image of Pandora as all-gifted. I think of my students not only as people with gifts for music, writing, technology, or science, among many other things, but also as individuals with infinite possibilities for giving to the human race. Just as Pandora gave Epimetheus a box full of things, some good and some not-so-good, my students are and will be capable of altering the world in many ways. I'm here to encourage them to start learning how to search for problem solutions that will improve the human condition.
GATE is a fairly well-recognized acronym for Gifted and Talented Education, so I like the metaphor of a GATEway: doors should be opened for gifted students, not closed. However well-meaning we may be, when our knee-jerk reaction is to squash their ideas or stymie their efforts to think in creative and unusual ways, we discourage them from realizing their full potential.
So, in summary, we have Pandora who has a lot to give, and a fabulous GATEway through which it can be done. I like it.
A word of warning...
I often write similarly to the way I speak to my students, which may or may not be perfect and/or grammatically correct. I may include smiley-faces, non-Oxford-recognized onomatopoeia, and strange punctuation, all of which is done purely for emphasis or to make a particular point. I don't take myself too seriously, and neither should you!
As this blog gets rolling, I'll get into more specifics for teaching strategies, materials, and creative problem-solving. For the first few posts, though, the focus is going to be on why I'm doing this: Why am I blogging? Why do I teach? Why do I love what I do?