Welcome to the 15th Annual Everything Gifted and Talented Conference! So glad you could make it back this morning for another full day of all things gifted. Before we start, a few housekeeping items.
The meeting room for the Comfort Food and Wine Pairings After Coping with a Child’s Emotional Meltdown has been moved to the Main Ballroom after yesterday’s overcrowded session ended in fisticuffs. We would like to apologize for so badly underestimating the popularity of this session. If you are able, please contribute to the bail bond fund for your friends and colleagues at the registration desk.
Again, many thanks to our sponsors for the year’s new soundproof frustration rooms: Joe’s Boxing and More for the headgear, gloves, and punching bags; Neal’s Smash-O-Rama for the bats, eye protection, and wide variety of Hummel figurines; and Dina’s Vocal Studio for the guidance in primal scream therapy.
Please remember to sign up for a massage! There are NO walk-ins! We have every available massage therapist in the metro area and their times are filling up. Wait, what’s that? Sorry, just received word that every slot is filled. Please! Sit down! No need to riot! Oh, and if you know where they are, kindly return the My Happy Place aromatherapy reed diffusers to their rightful place, no questions asked.
Ok, before I begin my presentation on Appreciating the Absurdities of Parenting and Teaching GT Kids, let’s see who is in the audience this morning.
Teachers? Raise your hands? Hm, not that many this morning. Remember, please donate to the Friends and Colleagues Bail Bond Fund at the registration desk; we need the teachers back in their classrooms. Or don’t, they may be enjoying the peace and quiet.
Administrators? Hi guys. Good to see you. And despite the concern over your dwindling numbers here, there is simply no truth to the rumor that you’re being auctioned off to research labs for GT budget funds. Federal and state legislators are being auctioned off; the administrators are simply overseeing the process to ensure fair market price. Good news! The politicians who voted down Javits went for a suh-weet price yesterday! In fact, we got such a great price for them that not only is the Javits funding restored, but every GT program budget nationwide will be increased by 42%!
And, finally, parents? No, not parents who are here as a teacher or administrator. Just parents who are here as parents. Hmm…more than I expected. God love yas. You guys are the duct tape that holds it all together. I suspect you’re here for one of three reasons. You’re here because this is a passion area for you, that you want and need to know all you can about giftedness so as to better parent and advocate for your children. Or you’re here because you are looking for someone who has The Answer. Or you’re here because you had heard that there would be a child trade-in program. The trade-in program was replaced by the legislator auction this year, sorry to disappoint you.
Dealing with gifted kids can just be exhausting. Teachers, administrators? You have no idea what hell parents go through raising these intense kids. You think you do, but unless you’re raising one yourself, you really just don’t know. Parents? You have no clue what crap the teachers and administrators put up with as educators. You think you do, but unless you’re in that profession, you really just don’t know. Ok, are we all on the same page now? Y’all have no idea what the “other side” is dealing with as they raise and teach gifted kids unless you are doing it your own darned self.
But I’d like to address the majority of my comments here to the parents. And…I’m already getting the “hurry it up already” sign from DeeDee down here in front with the timer. DeeDee, I’ll do the best I can. This 96 slide Power Point presentation won’t show itself…but if you’re interested, you can find the entire thing on my website.
Back to parents.
Parents. You need to remember to take care of yourselves. I know as well as anyone that putting yourself first appears selfish, but to hell with that. If you’re falling apart you cannot support and care for and advocate on behalf of your complex children. Please remember that they’re going to pick your nursing home, so kindly ensure that they have the ability to make solid and well-considered decisions.
Parents. You are not alone. There are so many of you out there, most of you flailing wildly. You need to band together. Gather, drink wine, support one another. Laugh at the absurdities of your lives! Have a ginormous family day where you throw all the kids together with cardboard boxes, a candle nub, a dozen rubber bands, and the ass end of a pencil and see what they create.
Parents. Get involved. Join your state’s GT organization. Join the local affiliate. Create one if you need to! Start a parents’ group at your school. One voice is whining; many voices is a statement.
DeeDee, quit jumping up and down, I see you. I’m wrapping up. Can any of the parents out there use your favorite OT strategy to calm her down? She’s not a minor; duct tape is an option. Just sayin’.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you this morning, it was truly my pleasure. Now allow me to introduce our next speaker, Mike O’Connell Ramirez Shapiro, who will present 1001 Funny Voices to Snap Your Kid out of a Freakout.
Just for the record, I had a fanfreakingtastic time at the CAGT conference yesterday and today.