Welcome to Fidget Jones Diary, a frank and sometimes tongue in cheek magazine style blog where parents and teachers can share their thoughts, experiences and frustrations of parenting or teaching an exceptionally able child or twice exceptional child in Ireland. In the editor’s chair sits Fidget Jones, an Irish gifted education advocate who has shepherded her children through the Irish education system and when it comes to gifted advocacy she has pretty much seen it all and been in the “thick of it”.
A big thank you has to go to Fidget for agreeing to edit this blog, we hope that it will become an extension of our active parents and teachers forum, where users can now publicly but anonymously share their frustrations, their insights and their joys of parenting or teaching a gifted child. We want good news stories as well as the bad. We know from our forum that some individual teachers and schools are doing a fantastic job at supporting their exceptionally able and twice exceptional students under very difficult circumstances. Our thread on “Schools who get it right!” is growing. We salute you and all those parents who are supporting and nurturing their wonderful children.
All children are gifts to their families, their communities and their nation. All children should be loved, cherished and supported regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Every child has something unique to offer to the world. So before we start let’s name the elephant in the room. The term giftedness is not a value judgement, it is simply a descriptive term for those children who show exceptional ability or potential ability in one or more areas and as a result has special educational needs. Let’s be clear, the word gifted makes alot of people feel uneasy including parents of gifted children. Let’s try to ditch the baggage that comes with that term and talk about the realities of parenting and teaching highly able children in Ireland. Whatever the term we use to describe these cohort of students whether its talented, gifted, exceptionally able, it honestly doesn’t really matter. What matters is that society as a whole, parents, teachers and you, the reader, understand that these kids exist in our classrooms, in all our communities, big and small, and across all socio-economic groups. They need our support if they are going to realise their full potential, without it they will significantly underachieve in our education system, if not worse. To lose this level of talent in our current economic circumstances is beyond a tragedy and it is entirely avoidable. So let’s get real.
Over to you Fidget!
Margaret Keane – Giftedkids.ie
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