Changing the way you see us

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Week 2015 takes place on 15-21 June 2015

Once again Mary St George is organizing a blog tour 8-21 June to mark the occasion

The Origami Secretary Bird had seen the memo I had written about the blog tour and had summoned all of the Sprite’s Site folk to gather opinions.

“I understand that ‘Changing the way you see us’ will be the theme of the week “the Origami Secretary bird told them.

Psycho Motor Dabrowski stopped bouncing for long enough to ask “Who is you and who is us?”

“I surmise” intoned Intellectual Dabrowski “that Us refers to gifted and twice exceptional students and You refers to teachers, parents, politicians and the general public.”

“I would like to proffer this piece of wisdom” Intellectual continued “To paraphrase Robert Burns
O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
Or so much better, if by spells
Others see us as we see oursels”

“That is all very well if you have good self-esteem and are contented with the way you see yourself” said little Thinks He’s An Alien Black Dog. “But it is bad enough if I see myself as an alien without everybody in general seeing me as an alien too.”

“He does make a good point” said Columbus Cheetah “It is probably more helpful to show what gifted and twice exceptional students are really like and to dispel the myths which most people have about them. This has been a major focus of my work and you can find my Myth Busting Efforts on Gifted Resources website at

“We usually go down to the beach and wave to New Zealand during their Gifted Awareness Week” said the Memory Elephant, showing the pictorial memories of all the previous years.

“Are we going to do that again this year and, if so, how could it be related to the theme?”

“Oh yes, yes, Frisbees and kites with messages on them” barked Psycho Motor.

“Or messages in bottles It makes people feel all warm and fuzzy to get a message in a bottle” said Emotional Dabrowski.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“I think having gifted and 2E students telling their own story or having their story told is a really powerful way of changing the way people see them” said Sprite. “That is why I don’t mind you writing about me on the blog – though sometimes I wish would not show my faults and embarrassing moments!”

I certainly enjoy telling the story of the 2E Twice exceptional Sprite  and I found, when I was considering whether she was a suitable candidate for being made into a Persona Doll, that over the years I have drawn quite a detailed description of her.

I also consider it effective to tell the stories and investigate the needs of many different types of gifted student using Persona Dolls.

The three webinars I have presented about them should contribute somewhat to changing the way people see and understand gifted and twice exceptional students.

Information about these webinars and links to the recordings of the sessions can be found at

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Websites such as Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page and Gifted Homeschoolers Form  provide information about gifted and 2E students and links to resources and also conduct monthly blog tours on specific aspects of giftedness

Social media
Facebook groups such as Mary’s Gifted Contacts
Twitter chats such as #gtchat
webinars, Vlogs, podcasts Livebinders, Slideshares
can all be very helpful in raising awareness about gifted and 2E students.

I was really delighted to receive this comment on Facebook after Gail Poulin, a dynamic teacher from the U.S., had attended a presentation I gave using Blackboard Collaborate for Jo Hart’s Fine Focus webinar series


So here we are again for the fifth time going down to the beach to wave across the water to New Zealand and wish them all the very best for a wonderful and productive Gifted Awareness Week while the Persona Dolls watch on the laptop.
Emotional Dabrowski is sending a warm fuzzy message in a bottle. The Memory Elephant is sending greetings on a helium balloon. Tweetil is attempting to catapult his lucky acorn across ‘the ditch’.
Wishing you success with changing the way people see the gifted!

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

To read about Sprite’s Site’s participation in previous NZ Gifted Awareness Week blog tours see the posts at

This is a post for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week blog tour. To read the other posts on the tour go to


Creative Help Requested

In a post titled Giftedness-Creativity, Community and Collaboration- Requesting your help… Lesley Graves, author of Innreach’s Blog – Leslinks Ireland- Gifted, Talented & Creative Support/Edu Page requested help in creating posters and photoquotes in many languages for use at the coming 20th Anniversary WCGTC World Conference 2013.

She provides a link Mary’s Gifted Education Photo Quotes and suggestions as to how we can use the images to add messages trying to promote understanding of issues around giftedness, talent, creativity, 2Eness and how these may affect the children and individuals
It was developed in the spirit of sharing, community and collaboration with the only charge being that when a photoquote image is used for advocacy, the creator of the image is acknowledged, in terms of the Creative Commons license chosen by the person who uploaded the image.

The posters must be created using original art or an original photograph or a CC licensed item that allows modification. The poster must contain some of the creator’s own work. If there is a CC Licensed image with a suitable quotation on it and a person produced no part of it, but simply “found it online” then that person cannot upload it, according to Flickr’s rules.
There is a discussion here  about how to CC license your images

I hope to be able to contribute to this project and have added it to my Creating Challenge Month of Maybe list at

Here is a possible contribution. I will look into how to provide CC attribution


Best Australian Blogs 2013 No 6: Interaction with Facebook



Sprite’s Site benefits greatly from interaction with Facebook

My Facebook page is located at
Some of the posts on Sprite’s Site are announced here.

There are several groups, some open and some member-only, which I visit regularly to share on both a professional and a personal level.

The Brilliant Chaos group  
provides inspiration and support for creation and creativity. Members of the group share pictures and links to blog posts about the novels they are writing, their art and craft and the processes involved.


This year the Brilliant Chaos group has set up a Year long challenge which helped me to formulate plans for 2013 and

As I could have predicted all the characters at Sprite’s Site blog had opinions about what the wheels I used to illustrate my plans for 2013 meant and what they would mean for them personally.

The Brilliant Chaos group also issues Monthly creating challenges. You can see the Sprite’s Site responses to monthly creating challenges here.
I have used the April creating challenge as an extra incentive to write a post a day this week explaining Sprite’s Site’s relation to social media for the Australian Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2013 Competition

The Facebook group Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Bloggers Group  is a great place to discuss blogging about homeschooling issues and share links to blog posts on their Weekly Share Thread. They also organize blog tours.

The Facebook group Facing IT    is an open group managed by Australian educators for anyone facing up to the challenges of using information technologies for communicating, teaching and learning.
It is very helpful for receiving information about using IT in education and for links to online courses and webinars. Members of the Facing IT group recently gave me advice which led to changing the theme for Sprite’s Site  

There are many Facebook groups specifically relating to giftedness, one of which is the New Zealand based but global in outlook Mary’s Gifted Contacts
I sometimes announce Sprite’s Site posts on this group. Mary also uses her Facebook group to help with the organization of a blog tour as part on of the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week. Sprite’s Site has enjoyed waving to New Zealand across the ditch during these blog tours


Vote for Sprite’s Site (and as many other great Australian blogs as you like) by clicking on the Vote for Me button in the sidebar of the blog. But you can only vote once: so be sure to make the vote count. Sprite’s Site is on Page 4 O-S.

If you have entered Sprite’s Site by following a link to a specific post you will need to click on the Sprite’s Site header to see the sidebar.

The Meeting

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

They were made into a photo quote by Mary St George at

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!

It is one thing to find out which are the best shoes for the DMGT Road but quite another to find ones that will be a good fit.

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

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.

New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2012 – TBA Post

I had no sooner added the NZGAW blog tour icon to the page than the Origami Secretary Bird popped up like the Paper Clip Help Avatar saying “I see you are writing a blog post for New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2012. Would you like assistance from me?”
Just to see what would happen I answered ‘Tell me what I am required to do’

“You have agreed with Mary St George, the organizer of the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2012 blog tour, to write and post to Sprite’s Site a blog entry on the topic of TBA on or before 15 June 2012. You will find instructions on Mary’s Creating Curriculum blog at

Then Sprite and the Memory Elephant put in an appearance.
“Last year we were away playing Survivor- Gifted Island and we went down to the beach and sent smoke signals and waved to the people in New Zealand for New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week” said Sprite.

“That was fun!” said the Memory Elephant.

“It was fun” agreed Sprite. “Can we do that again?”

“Yes, yes, fun and bonhomie and all that!” chimed in Intellectual Dabrowski who had already stated his intention to act as my research assistant “but hardly exhibiting any great depth of content.
I have this discussion with Sprite all the time. She understands the importance of research, evaluation of information and correct citation but she would prefer to fool around with Psycho Motor or waft off on flights of fantasy with Imaginational.

Now ‘Tell me what I am required to do’

“You have agreed with Mary St George, the organizer of the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week 2012 blog tour, to write and post to Sprite’s Site a blog entry on the topic of TBA on or before 15 June 2012. You will find instructions on Mary’s Creating Curriculum blog at repeated the Origami Secretary Bird.

“OK! Leave it with me and I will research the matter for you” said Intellectual

More margaritas

More margaritas – this time flowers and non-alcoholic pretty drinks for the #gtstoogies this week because Mary St George’s parrot arrived bringing news of New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Week   13-19 June 2011. For news of all the events see 
One feature of the week will be a Blog Tour. Sprite’s Site will be participating in the Blog Tour on 15 June which is one of the International Perspectives Days. Sprite will organise the Memory Elephant and the Dabrowski Dogs to  make a fire on the beach of Gifted Island and attempt to send some smoke signals of greeting across the Tasman to Aotearoa – the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Intellectual Dabrowski has brought in the whiteboard for recording strategies for Acceleration which will  be one of the topics of conversation for this week’s #gtchat. For details about how to join in the Twitter #gtchat sessions see Deborah Mersino’s Ingeniosus website and to read transcripts of past sessions see

Coffee for the #gtstoogies

We are running a bit late with setting upthe supper table for the #gtstoogies gathering after #gtchat this week.
This is due to having problems with my computer and having to use my little very old laptop which needed lots of updating and is still very S….L….O….W  

On the pinboard you can see announcements of the topics for gtchat – twice exceptional students and discussion on the blog post on Deborah Mersino’s Ingeniosus blog Call to Action: Making Gifted Education Relevant Today.
There are also reminders about The Bavarian Center for Gifted and Talented Children’s Gifted Education conferences in Second Life. and New Zealand’s Gifted Education Centre GO  Gifted Online  Mary St George is organising blog tours for New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness  Week in June.

I have brought out the chocolate fountain as I am in need of consolation! I may not be able to participate in the next Second Life session as the little old computer may not cope with it.