1. I get to meet tons of people.
2. For some of those people, I am priveleged to be their voice for advocacy- whether that is a teacher, a parent or a student.
3. I get to connect people.
4. I learn about new resources all the time.
5. I get to create road-maps for the future.
6. The future always surprises me.
A GATE program is most effective whena coordinator is designated to administer the many aspects of the program.
In a tight economy, one of the most necessary expenditures of GATE funds is the services of a qualified and knowledgeable GATE Coordinator. Research shows that the quality and effectiveness of a program will depend on the knowledge, skills, creativity and dedication of the coordinator.
We are the conductor of the symphony. We orchestrate the talented musicians and help them develop their talents. We serve as a liason between the school gifted program and the district office. We assist teachers and school site administrators in differentiating instruction.
We assist teachers in developing appropriate interventions for struggling or at-risk gifted students. We work with parents, counselors and teachers in this regard. Our district has a referral form for at-risk or under-achieving gifted students. http://gate.emcsd.org It is part of our Identification Tool Kit.
We provide training in differntiating instruction, so teachers will be able to:
-design lessons that emphasize higher order thinking and questioning skills
- incorporate depth and complexity into the study of the core curriculyum
-facilitate acceleration for advanced students both within the classroom and by single subject acceleraton to a higher grade level in a specific subject
-provide opportunities for independent study in areas that interest them
-design assessments that encourage choice in student projects and products
GATE Coordinators provide education and support for parents of gifted students. Many hold a number of parent meetings in which we share information on a topic related to gifted education. Often these topics center around the social and emotional needs of gifted children and the challenges and joys in parenting gifted children.
Coordinators serve as a liason between parents and the district.
We point parents in the direction of good resources and provide contact information for key personnel both within and outside the school district.
Some coordinators organize a mentor for students with specific interests.
We arrange field trips, such as docent led tours of museums and college campus tours.
We contact local universities, colleges, and museums for opportunities and experiences available to students who are advanced in areas not taught within the schools.
We oversee enrichment and acceleration options and make sure the students' needs are continually met. We plan for next steps for students who are radically accelerated (ie a third grader taking high school classes or a seventh grader taking college classes).
We seek out resources and opportunities in the community that cost little, but require someone to find them and make them available and known to parents and schools.
We provide professional development for our teachers and administrators about the academic needs of gifted students but also their affective needs through newsletters, web sites, staff development, email and provide information about conferences related to teaching gifted students.
GATE Coordinators write a district GATE plan which serves as a road map for the program and holds us accountable to the state and our community, as we strive to meet the diverse needs of our gifted students.
Coordinators maintain the district GATE website. We compile reports from evaluations from parents and students.
We coordinate and collaborate with other local districts and colleges to pool resources and provide jointly funded GATE events and professional development opportunities.
For example, some coordinators may be invited to train teachers in another district, or two districts may share the expense of hiring an expert to come and do training.
Recently, PAGE (Professional Advocates for Gifted Education) paid for Dr. James Webb to come out and speak to GATE parents and PAGE sent out an invitation to all parents and teachers in the San Gabriel Valley through their GATE Program coordinators. Asusa Pacific University , a local private university, hosted the evening event. PAGE invited APU graduate students taking course work in gifted education to attend the event. Over 200 people attended the event, during a torrential rain storm.
This is just one idea of how you can really stretch your resources in strained economic times. One event could reach teachers, parents, and college students in the field. We even had a few pediatricians and psychologists attend!