.Parents--Don't freak out! Starting the "college talk" may send some of you into a state of heart-wrenching despair while others may be overwhelmed with giddiness at the thought of being closer to the "empty nesting" phase. Where ever you may fall on the "Parent of a High School Senior" spectrum, the news I am about to share with you will (hopefully) make your day! Raise your hand if you want to pay full-tuition and book costs for the next four years. No one? Have no fear because there are many scholarship opportunities for your child to take advantage of! I have compiled a list of various scholarship opportunities for our gifted students to look into. Click on the link below to start exploring.
LINK TO SCHOLARSHIPS
If you have any questions, or need further assistance, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love watching students file into school at the beginning of every year. Beyond the glazed over looks and tired eyes sits a student excited for a new experience, a new opportunity, a new beginning. Quickly, the excitement of the first weeks begins to fade. The energy I once saw begins to die, much like the leaves on the trees, The fire begins to dim, no longer ignited by passion and promise. I begin to see students crumble under the weight of overwhelming loads of homework caused by frequent procrastination and teenage angst. This scenario is dangerous for any student, but especially so for gifted students. Often, gifted students have an intellectual ability that could outmatch many adults we know, but their executive functioning skills are not completely developed yet. It's easy to let work students deem "unimportant" sit in a folder past due dates. Soon that work turns into an overwhelming burden students don't know how to tackle. Our brains tell us it's impossible- they are wired for negative thinking. It's hard to get out of that cycle, so you continue to spiral into a dark abyss.
How many of us can relate to feeling like we don't know how to address a difficult problem or situation? Perhaps we need to really look at everyday as a blank slate. Every day is the first day of school-- a new opportunity for us to reinvent who we are by making ourselves more like who we want to become. This Mel Robbins video really spoke to me. I hope it will speak to you!
This month, some of our cluster teachers got together to discuss the mystery that is "giftedness." There are a multitude of gifted characteristics exhibited by gifted kids, all of which depend on his/her experiences and "type" of giftedness. Because of that, our perceptions of what giftedness is and what it looks like are often distorted by stereotypes.
To combat this, our cluster teachers got together and looked at our own perceptions of what it means to be a gifted student in our school. The result was really amazing! We recognized that, while there is a stigma that gifted students model the Sheldon Cooper's of our society, our own experiences with them signal that this is simply not true. In fact, many of our gifted students, while highly intellectual, are asynchronous learners. Many lack intrinsic motivation and knowledge socially-appropriate cues, while others are extremely motivated and very sociable.
We had a little neuroscience lesson, discussing the way the gifted brain works, and reflected on whether our teaching practices are meeting those needs. Our discussions showed true passion for the students, knowing that we are always learning about what's best for them, and trying to help them be the best versions of themselves.
In early October, I worked with Mrs. Allen on an exciting plan for her MYP 10 English class. Students were asked to read The Great Gatsby over the summer, and Mrs. Allen was looking for an exciting assessment that would allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of the text on a deeper level. Our brain child was the Gatsby Gala. Modeled from a literacy strategy called The Tea Party, students were asked to assume the role of characters from the novel, or relevant historical figures that were significant to the setting and time period.
On the day of the gala, student mingled with the likes of Coco Chanel, Albert Einstein, and John D. Rockefeller. Each character brought at least three talking points that were related to the story or the time period. While the "acting" may seem a rather simplistic task, the complexity came into play when students were forced to respond to emotionally charged talking points in a manner that reflected their character. It was fun to see students embodying the ideals of another person, demonstrating their knowledge of characterization, historical relevance, and the text.
Perhaps the best part of the gala was student feedback. Most were very positive about their experience and thought it fun. In my opinion, some of the best educational experiences are when students are having so much fun they forget their actually learning something. :)
Are you frustrated? Has your schedule changed at least once in the past week? If so, you are probably experiencing the First Week of School Blues. In all seriousness, though, this time of year is probably the most frustrating- for parents, students, teachers, and administrators- mostly because of the chaos that is scheduling. Unfortunately, we have not seen the last of it yet. In an effort to answer some recently asked questions, I decided to post a blog entry about it.
Why is my child's schedule being changed?
As you may have read on The Gifted Cavaliers page, all Virginia Beach high schools use the cluster program to meet the needs of their gifted learners. Studies show that gifted students work best in clusters of like-minded students. At the high school level, we expertly choose teachers who will have those clusters, specifically focusing on the 9th and 10th grade classrooms. As the gifted resource teacher, it is my responsibility to advocate for all of our gifted students, making sure they are placed in the right classes, and working to plan excellent lessons with their teachers. Gone are the days of giving gifted kids 20 extra problems to do because they finish early. My goal, as is the goal of the cluster teachers, is to extend gifted minds by enhancing critical thinking, problem solving, and creative skills. With that being said, it was imperative for them to be placed in the right classes, thus schedule changes had to be made.
Why wasn't this worked out before school?
As is true with anything new, sometimes glitches wait to rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune time. Unforeseen events, like new student registrations, for example, could impact student schedules at the last minute. I assure you our administrators, guidance counselors, and I have been working 'round the clock to fix all of the issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. I am also making notes of how to improve things for next year, so as to avoid being in this predicament.
Have IB schedules changed?
Students taking IB courses will not have a schedule change unless they are in Governor's School for the Arts.
Where can my child get a new schedule?
Our goal is to have all schedule changes completed by Monday, September 14.. Please feel free to visit me or a guidance counselor to see whether your schedule has changed.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to e-mail me or complete a contact form on the CONTACT page and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you very much during your patience. Things should be calm very soon. :)
Happy Back-to-School Gifted Cavs! I hope you all enjoyed your summer. My summer was filled with a lot of work and morsels of vacation sprinkled around. I am excited about the 2015-2016 school year, as I'm sure there will be many excellent things in store. As an introductory post, I just wanted the opportunity to introduce myself and give you a brief update about some changes that have been going on in the VB Gifted world.
My name is Jamie LaCava-Owen, but I go by Mrs. LO. This is my second year as gifted resource teacher at Princess Anne High School. Formerly, I was an English teacher, and have experienced teaching various secondary levels; secretly, 10th grade was my favorite. I have a one year old son, Carter, a husband, Ron, and a dog, Karma. I am originally from Alexandria, Virginia, and most of my Family is really important to me, which is probably why I treat students like they're members of my family.
Teaching is my passion. I love getting to help students become the best versions of themselves. High school is a transformation period of self realization and actualization for many students, so being able to be a part of that growth is extremely exciting for me. I encourage parents and students to visit or contact me often, as those relationships are what make my job so pleasant.
This year, Virginia Beach came out with a new 5-year plan for gifted education. We are always looking for ways to improve the already great things we are doing for our students. While most of the 5-year plan remains the same, one new addition is the focus on social-emotional growth. This focus on a student's expression, emotion-management, and relationships will be at the forefront of our minds as we plan for each educational experience.. To learn more about the 2015-2020 plan, please click HERE.
I am very excited about all that this year will bring. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. The best way to get in contact with me is via e-mail or google number, both of which can be found on the CONTACT page. Have an excellent 2015-2016 year! I hope to meet you all!