An administrator once said to me, after I finished leading a workshop:
It’s so nice for our teachers to hear from someone who actually went through a gifted program…
This has always struck me as such a strange thing to say. Certainly, it isn’t too hard to find grown-up gifted students, right? Especially if you run a gifted program?
It made me wonder, do gifted programs keep in touch with their alumni? If not, consider reaching out to your past students. Ask them how your program helped them. What did you miss? You’ll also get to see what your kids have gone on to do.
Interviewing past students would be a phenomenal (and cheap) way to fine-tune your program’s focus.
This doesn’t mean tracking down 40-year-olds. Ask your high school students what elementary school was like for them. Ask first-year college students how well their K-12 experiences prepared them. Invite these students back to speak at parent nights or to address teachers.
My pal Lisa has been interviewing gifted kids (of all ages) and the results are, frankly, stunning. It’s a shame we’re not doing more of this. Your former students are a gold mine of information about the effectiveness of your program. Use them! Many of them would love to talk to you about this topic.
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