Today is the last day of the National Association for Gifted Students NAGC Conference. In all, some 3000 attendees-educators from all levels, students, parents and other advocates attended some of the 300+ sessions offered. During my time here I had the pleasure of meeting and networking with individuals from all over the country. I learned we are all seeking solutions to some of the same problems.
I am thankful for the opportunity to meet and network with others. I learned first hand that many states and districts have identification and programming options in place. But I also heard from educators and parents frustrated with the lack of programming, professional development and support for students. I spent considerable time talking to parents so as to understand the picture from their eyes.
My greatest takeaway from the conference: We need to work together! Each person attending this conference is a stakeholder in trying to impact the learning system for students. Stakeholders need to connect. It was empowering, frustrating and even overwhelming at times to think about how many students are sitting in school not getting what they want or need. How can WE move toward hitting the mark more often than not?
In the next year ahead the WATG board is committed to our mission of advocating for and educating about the needs of gifted in Wisconsin. We are committed to working with you to find and provide multiple pathways, resources, tools, and strategies that will help. WE are:
1. Looking for experts in the field for the 2017 conference who have proven results in identification and programming.
2. Committed to bringing exhibitors who have curriculum, strategies and tools that have the potential to meet your students' needs.
3. Learn what works with under-represented students and share this information through our web page, newsletter and conference.
4. Support board and WATG members who are invited or have an accepted proposal to speak at conferences other than WATG.
5. Provide free access to the NAGC webinars for our WATG members. (Want to join? Visit our website www.watg.org so you, too, can have access).
6. Finding ways to help more teachers, administrators and parents learn side by side at the annual conference.
Thank you for your commitment to the students in Wisconsin. We are all stakeholders in their success. If you are not already a member of WATG please consider joining.