Sunday, February 26, 2012

Middle School Male Layout- Gifted and Talented Advocacy

 Sometimes a school year can be defined by the actions of a single teacher and the impact can be felt for years to come. If you are lucky you will find that amazing teacher who turns on the light bulb of knowledge. Unfortunately though, there can also be that teacher who has has tunnel vision and can not see beyond. Unfortunately James found the tunnel visioned math teacher in 7th grade and it impacted him for years to come. 

James is gifted. In a previous school system he had received services for the gifted in third grade. He flourished in the program. When we moved the gifted teacher (who previously taught in our new school system)  tried to advocate for him to be in the new school's gifted program. Despite hours of meetings and providing documentation the new school refused to allow him to be in the gifted program until after he had been in the school for a year. They also lied and said the previous school system said he wasn't ready for the gifted and talented program. This was a major issue, because in the original school's gifted program they had already covered the 4th grade curriculum and used the same books. So in essence as a gifted child he would be repeating his fourth grade year.

After bringing James to a meeting, so that the school would have to put a face to the name, the school compromised with letting him skip fourth grade. But I was forced to sign a waiver that I would I would waive my right to sue if he experienced psychological damage from this in later life! LOL

In 7th grade they refused to put James in an advance Math class because he was disorganized. Many gifted and talented kids are disorganized. I tried to advocate for him, but instead he was bored and the grades dropped because he misplaced the papers. In reality his disorganization occurred after a spinal cord surgery. Before that he was bordering on obsessive compulsive. So the school should have been providing the structure to help with the disorganization, but instead they spent the time complaining about his disorganization rather than teaching him how to overcome it.

Thankfully he found a teacher right out of college in high school. And she recognized his talent. He was on track for general math and he wouldn't have the classes he needed for Purdue. She advocated for him and got him into advance math classes-but it meant he had to take Algebra One and Algebra Two at the SAME TIME. He graduated with straight A's in math and with a 3.8 GPA. On his SAT he scored in the 98th percentile in Math. He is in his freshmen year at Purdue, but he has enough credits to be a second semester Sophomore. Yet a 7th grade teacher felt his needs were better met in a general math class!

Having a child with special needs and the other child gifted and talented, plus having taught special education for almost 19 years, it is sad to say advocating for the  gifted child has been the tougher battle through the years. There are protected programs in place for special education. Lots of services are available. But gifted programs are the first to go when there are funding issues. Qualifying for gifted services is a local decision with no State-wide benchmarks. Our state is constantly focusing on "brain drain" (Bright kids leaving the state after graduating). I honestly believe if they would focus more on making sure these kids are encouraged in school and given the opportunity to grow instead of stagnating, our kids might be more enthusiastic about staying in the state. But they are smart enough to know their kids are going to have a challenge in getting an education that is challenging.

So my layout today is representative of that year. The quotes I chose for it represent James'  bright future, thanks to that beginning high school math teacher. He recently changed his career goals and is majoring in languages, business management and political science because he wants to work in an Embassy. He recently got a summer internship in a Consulate.  He is reaching out for his dreams and winning. 

I choose the Crafter's Companion Strawberry Kisses My Boy Shoe Stamp because it reminded me of his 7th grade year. He had the gifted and talented running shoes to be off and running, but due to the poor insight of his math teacher it ended up being a sleeper year. (There's a puppy sleeping in the sneaker.)

Journal Stickers: " The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."- Eleanor Rossevelt

"All of our dreams can come true...if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

Paper and Cardstock: DCWV Grade School Stack, The Girls Paperie Paper Girl, Bazzil Typhoon, Black Scrap, Copic Express Blending Cardstock
Copics:Y08, Y04, Y02,.E31, E34,E35, R14, R17,C1, C2,C3, B41, Multi-liner 03 Black, YR04, B45, R14
Stamp: Crafter's Companion Strawberry Kisses My Boy
Embossing Power: Ranger Black Super Fine Detail
Ink: Colorbox Charcoal Chalk
Stickers: Stash

Hotshot Craft Blog   One for the Boys
2 Sisters Challenge   Anything Goes
Let's Get Sketchy   Impromptu Challenge Sketch

Wishing you a day filled with opportunities to reach for your dreams!


  1. beautiful job with the sketch,what a wonderful boy page, love the papers you used! thanks for playing along with us at LGS!

  2. wow, love your take on the sketch, those papers are super cute and your son is a handoms eyoung man!

  3. Wonderful page and great interpretation and representation of this year in his life!

  4. Great job whit the sketch, a really boy page. Thanks for playing along with us at Lets Get Sketchy

  5. great school page! love the pp with all the feet! great take on the sketch!

  6. So cool layout!Thank you for playing along with Let’s Get Sketchy!

  7. Wonderful card. Thank you for joining us at HSC for our " one for the boys " challenge

    Hugs Sarah x

    p.s. We have the new Tim Holtz Distress Marker pens on Pre-order!!!


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment! I appreciate all of my wonderful readers! Elizabeth