Disruption. Uncertainty. Division. Confusion. Anger. Frustration. Hopelessness. These feelings and emotions dominated our discourse last year, and sadly, they continue to drive our conversations and interactions this year. Partisan politics at the local and national level are consuming our attention, as parents on all sides of the issues compete for the attention and support of elected officials.
Meanwhile, our children are in the background continuing to reach important developmental milestones, and time keeps ticking away. We cannot afford to solely focus our attention on one arena of advocacy, although it is certainly imperative that we continue voicing our opinions and concerns, whatever they may be. We must not allow ourselves to believe the fate of our children's education rests solely on what the latest policies may be.
Without minimizing the significance of these policies to our children's health and wellbeing, we must also remember the role we, as parents and concerned community members, play in advocating for educational experiences that stimulate their minds and provide them with direction on how they can channel their gifts into meaningful academic and career pathways.
Now, more than ever before, we must be creative about ways we can pool together our collective gifts and talents to make sure our children get exposure to experiences - both inside and outside the classroom - that stretch their imaginations about what is possible for them. They have shown us by their academic achievements that they are capable of learning at advanced levels, and we should reward them with activities that stimulate them and give them confidence.
At the same time, we must also remember that our gifted children have much more on their minds than the issues receiving the most attention at the moment. Gifted children experience perfectionism, ADHD, imposter syndrome, boredom, social challenges, under-performance, and other issues that are heightened by their giftedness. Just as these issues are difficult for our children, they can be equally as difficult for us to navigate as parents and concerned community leaders.
This year, I hope that we will open the door to other arenas of advocacy of equal importance and that we will challenge ourselves to reflect on ways we can support our children academically as they realize and pursue their gifts. I hope that we will be vulnerable enough to learn from each other in the areas where we need support and that we will offer each other our expertise in our areas of strength. Most importantly, I hope we will find within us passion and desire for our kids' gifted education that push us to focus forward and find ways to make the most of the 2021-2021 academic year, in spite of continued disruption and uncertainty.