We have recently had surveys of teachers and students regarding provision for gifted students in Ireland. Here’s a chance for parents to add their voice. It should take only 10-15 minutes. You can participate regardless of the age of your children. If they have finished school, you can choose to complete the school section retrospectively or just skip to the general questions later. If you have more than one child, the school section will reappear once for each child. It’s all pretty clear once you get started.
Emma Ui Shuillebhean
I am a primary teacher with seven years teaching experience both at class and support level. This year I am studying for a Masters of Education in Special Educational Needs at University College Dublin. I am conducting some research into the provision and support for exceptionally able pupils in Ireland. This is an area I feel very strongly about and I hope that the recommendations from my research will be of use to teachers, parents and pupils. I would be grateful if you would support this project.
As part of my research I will be conducting an anonymous online survey with parents of gifted students, looking at their experiences of education for gifted pupils in Ireland.
I will make my research findings available on this website. I would be grateful if you would complete this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/parentsofgiftedsurvey
Emma Uí Shúilleabháin
It is very exciting to see this topic cropping up with increasing frequency as a focus for both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching students. During the preparation for this study, Emma went above and beyond the call of duty by attending, and enduring with great grace, one of our support group meetings! We are more than happy to support her and to help in any way we can. The more parents who complete this survey, the more meaningful the results will be, so please fill it in and share the link with others.
Register online here or print and complete the form below:
Teachers occasionally ask us for advice in dealing with gifted or exceptionally able pupils in their classrooms. We are not qualified teachers and we are always conscious that our advice comes with this caveat. However, we have many years of experience as parents of exceptionally able learners and our suggestions come largely from them and what they have experienced, both positive and negative.
Recently we came across a query from a second level teacher about how she could support a student who was clearly ahead of the class by a long way, while still attending to the needs of the other students in her class. Without knowing the details of the situation, our advice would be to start with the student himself. Often, acknowledgement of the child’s ability is a huge step in empowering the student and allowing them to be who they are. Most children can clearly see that in a classroom situation, the teacher has limited time and resources and has to spread his or her attention as evenly as they can. By having an honest discussion with the student in question, the teacher can let them know that (a) they know how able they are (b) that they are pleased to have a pupil with passion and ability in their subject, and (c) that they recognise that they are limited in what they are able to offer within the classroom setting. Never underestimate the powerful message that acknowledgement sends to gifted children. They already know, certainly by second level, that the system is not designed to meet their needs. However, to have a teacher understand their frustration gives that pupil a support that is immeasurable.
Opening up the dialogue with the student means that they have some input into their learning. In many instances, a pupil may have a particular passion for one aspect of the subject. Our own experience would suggest that gifted pupils often feel they have no outlet to express their ability and this can lead to frustration and disillusionment with the education system. By asking the student where their interests lie, both teacher and student may be able to find a way to keep the spark there without deviating too far from what is required in the classroom. In addition, the parents of the pupil may be a valuable resource in supporting enrichment through project work, inter-schools competitions or industry-related initiatives. Parents can be an overlooked asset where gifted students are concerned. They may have resources, ideas or mentors who can further support their child’s ability. Even if they are unaware of their child’s particular proficiency in a subject, they would probably be more than happy to support any initiative the teacher and student might have discussed.
Our experience is in dealing with the student and parent end of the equation, but take it from us, if any teacher contacts us to let us know that they can see a special ability in our sons or daughters and want to support that talent, we’re all ears!
Meeting at the Glenview Hotel, Glen of the Downs
Tuesday 15th October 2013
The topic for discussion is “Gifted Children and Emotions”. We will be having our usual informal chat and catch up too and taking a look at how we run the group and what changes, if any, people would like to make. So, please come along, share your experience and add your suggestions. New members always welcome.
You will find us in the library. Turn left just before the stairs in the foyer. The door to the library is just after the lounge.
CTYI/Letterkenny: A new CTYI term and lots of new faces! A group of parents got together this morning and went to Costa Coffee in Letterkenny for a chat over coffee. It was great to meet new people and hopefully everyone enjoyed the opportunity to chat and share our experiences. We had a change of venue as the canteen in LYIT was closed. Apologies to anyone I didn’t manage to speak to but hopefully we can meet up next week. Perhaps if anyone interested in going for coffee would like to meet at the front door after dropping the children off, we can go from there. Please come along. It was very informal and just gives us all a chance to meet others in similar circumstances! Hope to see everyone next Saturday! I can be contacted on email@example.com Edel
CTYI/NUIGalway: Parents had coffee and a lovely chat at the Kingfisher Club while their children were at classes this morning. However, the Restaurant, down the steps directly opposite the entrance to the Arts Millenium Building, looks like a more suitable venue. So, from next Saturday, we will meet there instead. Watch out for the speech bubble logo when you are dropping your child off, or pop over to the restaurant and find us. We covered all sorts of topics today, from school woes to laundry tips, and the time flew by! Don’t worry if you don’t have a child attending classes this term. You are still welcome to drop in and join us between 10am and 12.30pm. You can contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org