The meeting with Sprite’s school went reasonably well, as far as I could tell at the time. However, as I think back over it, I am having some concerns.
They explained that there had been several staff changes because of teachers moving interstate, suddenly leaving because of serious health issues or going on maternity or long service leave; and that there had consequently been changes to the programs that the school offered. The new teachers were still getting to know the students and would find suitable solutions soon.
The handover had not been very smooth but then… given that some of the teachers had left suddenly …that was understandable.
I reminded them about the course of action we had embarked on to find the ideal education for Sprite for her journey along Gagne’s DMGT road
from innate giftedness to fully developed talent using the De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as the planning method and they agreed we would continue to use it.
However they said Sprite should receive more testing in just the same way you would need to be remeasured when being fitted for new shoes.
Sprite has been subjected to testing in numerous ways by psychologists, therapists and education consultants and found to be both exceptionally gifted and to have specific learning difficulties.
I did wonder whether they were stalling for time and why they could not use the results of all the testing she had received so far.
I made a mental note to myself to reread Derrin Cramer’s blog post Do you need to test again?
I was also reminded of my own words of a few weeks previous https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/advocacy/
They were made into a photo quote by Mary St George at http://www.flickr.com/photos/51965108@N05/7621345972/in/pool-1680413@N20
And it appears in an album of Gifted Education Photo Quotes at
Various programs and assistive technology measures have been tried with varying degrees of success. You can see these represented by the different types of footwear Sprite wears and you can see by her body language how her comfort and optimism levels vary!
They said they would review Sprite’s needs but were rather vague about what provisions they could offer.
One thing which did concern me was that they seemed to be emphasizing the deficits and discussing those. They talked about a number of remedial measures, study skills sessions and social/emotion support but did not speak about challenging Sprite at appropriate depth and level in her areas of strength.
Most of the measures suggested sounded like Pink Slipper – (Do what is caring, compassionate and comforting) plans. Although Sprite loves her pink slippers she needs more of the Brown Brogue (Do the most sensible thing) and Grey Sneaker (Investigate) plans at this stage.
Maybe in the future she will be able to manage the Blue Formal Shoes and Leadership Purple Riding Boots type of plans.
I stressed that they should recognise Sprite’s giftedness even while they were trying to remediate the problems and they repeated that they would review the matter.
I left them with a link to a collection of articles and websites at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/new-zealand-gifted-awareness-week-2012-tba-post-4-part-3/
We set a date for a future meeting in a month’s time.
The day after the meeting Sprite came home wearing one orange gumboot.
I recognised this as representing the Orange Gumboot (Emergency measures) plan.
It appeared to be a stop gap measure to attempt to address Sprite’s giftedness which had not taken into account her difficulties. When that became apparent she had been told to just put on one orange gumboot and hop until they thought of something suitable.