M2D15: Leading while Gifted (Leadership V)

We’re halfway through the second month of staying at home already? Has anything changed? Sadly, not enough. There’s no miracle treatment, you only get tested if you’re sick (so the real extent of infection is unknown), and the country’s “leaders” are disbanding their task force instead of leading (thank goodness for the governors, but I sure don’t envy them). Sigh.

We tried our first grocery pick-up (instead of delivery) last night and determined that even the big businesses haven’t quite figured some of the pieces out. The “pick-up spots” at the grocery store are still standard parking spaces, so there’s no opportunity for meaningful physical distancing, especially for the staff. And we waited quite some time (20 minutes?) for our order to be delivered to our car, so it seems that staffing isn’t quite matching demand or promised capacity. I do wonder if perhaps the pickup time slots should be smaller—if all the people scheduled for an hour window come in the first 5 minutes it could certainly strain the workers. I say this not to complain, but to point out that even HUGE businesses don’t yet have fool-proof plans. Related thought: One of the reasons I enjoy reading about how Disney is planning to reopen their theme parks is that they are really good at logistics. Watching experts adapt can help us all learn.

Another thing Disney does well.

Am I getting to the point? Perhaps. Part of it is that the future is very murky. Another piece is that we don’t know a lot about leadership in gifted education. The one scholarly article we read specifically on gifted ed in the leadership course was from Thailand, and it addressed practices in a gifted school more than gifted ed leadership broadly. Finally, I think it’s a tough issue because many of the individuals working in gifted education are themselves gifted. As such, they tend to be sensitive, curious, and introspective (among so many other traits). Two articles, one from 2017 and one current, showed up (coincidentally?) in my Facebook news feed today that paint vivid pictures of gifted adults. And when these adults lead, they are leading while gifted. That’s a challenge on many levels, including meeting others where they are, making manifest a workable version of ambitious plans, and focusing on a task or mission long enough to make an impact.

Given all that, I return to the final assignment question: As you look ahead 5 and 10 years, where do you feel you can have the most impact in the field of gifted education? What might your future contributions be (and why do you think this)?

This is a bit tough for me because my first answer is that I’d like to be retired in 5 years. 😄 But (a) if my financial advisor is reading this, she’d tell me that’s not a realistic plan, and (b) even if I do retire in 5-7 years, I will likely continue working in gifted education. In the immediate future, I think my contributions will continue to be to the teachers with whom I work directly and the students they serve. As I learn more and gain confidence, I hope to be able to support gifted educators in the wider region through conference presentations, workshops, writing, and continuing education. I also hope to reach more classroom teachers, counselors, and others who support gifted students in schools. After that? I’m not sure. More writing?

This has been an interesting way for me to complete a course synthesis project. Writing every day “for publication” feels different than writing a series of less and less rough drafts over the same time period. I think it has made me think more deeply about the course experience and about the prompts. But now I’m ready for a break. I have a course reflection to write (not for publication) tomorrow and then 10 full days away from grad school (during which I will be super-busy at work, of course).

The blog stays though. As others have noted, it is coping method/path to sanity during these crazy times.

So, Box 11, is it?

Box 11 in the LEGO Advent Calendar is…curling stones.

I’m not sure what the yellow piece is, but I have to say that one of the reasons that I’m enjoying this so much is that the designers are so creative.

Looks fun!

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