Be an Advocate for Children with Gifts and Talents!
IAGC needs you to advocate for important issues affecting advanced learners.
Be an Advocate!
You can make a difference in the life and education of advanced and high-potential children in Illinois.
It is not necessary to have a knowledge of statistics or legislation to be able to make a case for advocating for all children to have the opportunity to grow, develop, and reach for their potential. By focusing on these three things, you can be an effective advocate:
- Tell your story. Administrators, legislators, and the governor may not be aware of the particular needs of high- ability students or the special training to prepare their teachers. Anecdotes give rulemakers more insight into gifted children than a table of numbers.
- Be specific. For example, as a parent, your story of your child’s frustration reviewing curriculum she mastered three years ago or your concern regarding the inconsistent training her teachers have had in appropriately differentiating curriculum are important specifics. As a teacher, you might mention the range of abilities in your classroom and how, in your ongoing attempts to assist struggling learners, you fear high-ability students are being neglected.
- Review the issues. For more background information on IAGC’s stances on issues related to gifted students and their education, please check out the information in this Advocate section.
Make contact with your local school.Advocating for your child:
- If you are a parent seeking academic changes for your high-ability child, consider specific topics you wish to discuss first with the classroom teacher.
- Parents and teachers are partners in each child’s education and, while acknowledging limits within the home and school, they can work together positively toward goals for the student.
- After the first conversation, you or the teacher may choose to involve other school or district staff in planning the best academic, social and emotional course for the child.
- For more tips on school meetings you may want to view this parent resource on the National Association for Gifted Children’s website: http://www.nagc.org/get-involved/advocate-high-ability-learners/advocate-your-child)
- Tips for Parents: Advocacy - Working with Your Child’s School from the Davidson Institute provides a guide to establishing constructive partnerships between parents and local educators.
Advocating for advanced programming in your district/school community:
- Most decisions that affect the availability of and funding for programs and services for gifted and advanced learners are made at the local level. Therefore, in addition to supporting strong policy and funding for talent development at the state and federal levels, it is critical that parents and concerned educators engage with local school leaders to ensure that addressing the needs of advanced learners is a high priority.
Make contact at the State level.
Explore the links below to Be an Advocate: