Byrdseed.com is now in its fourth year. This site began simply as a way for me to remember lesson ideas and explore my thoughts. Its continued growth surprises me every month.
But what truly excites me is the hunger that this growth represents. People are actively searching for ideas and inspiration to reach our gifted learners.
In its first year, Byrdseed welcomed an average of 4,800 visitors a month. By the third year, this increased to 13,000 visitors a month. Byrdseed’s fourth year has kicked off with 19,000 visitors a month. Subscribers have grown from two in July 2009 to over 6,600.
This has led to amazing opportunities to speak with educators. In 2009, I had (nervously) participated in one conference. By the end of 2012, I will have ventured to six states, speaking at about 25 events (still nervously!).
All of this has led to countless connections with educators, parents, and publishers. Your desire to understand and reach gifted students continues to impress me.
In the next year, I’m taking some chances and trying to help meet these needs in new ways.
This year, I made the difficult decision not to return to my classroom. As Byrdseed has grown, and increased opportunities have presented themselves, the balance between my students, my family, and these projects was becoming quite challenging.
So, with my wife’s support, I’m taking time to pursue new opportunities in ways that were impossible before:
- I’m teaching small, after school, interest-based courses for gifted students. So far, I’ve worked with young musicians and beginning video game programmers. I’m thrilled to be working with kids in a smaller setting. (Update: this only lasted one year)
- I’m developing a video-based professional development site called Byrdseed.TV. It’s launching later this month, but you can take a sneak peek.
- I’ll also be pursuing a Masters in Gifted Education. (Update: I didn’t do this!)
Naturally, I’ll be continuing to grow the projects I started during the last three years:
- Expect more frequent updates to Byrdseed.com with a wider range of topics within gifted education.
- I’ll be saying yes to more traveling and speaking.
- I’m hoping to observe many classrooms to see a wider variety of gifted students and expand my experiences beyond the 6th graders I worked with.
So, if you teach in the Orange County, CA area, and don’t mind me popping in to see what your kids do, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m especially interested in young gifted kids. (Update: I don’t live in California anymore!)
Also, if you have an upcoming event related to gifted education, I’d love to be a part of it.
But most of all, I hope to support, encourage, and give you at least one idea that makes your job easier during Byrdseed’s fourth year.