Taking on another commitment...?

Today I was asked to serve as my school’s G/T co-coordinator for the year.

Which….I’m torn. I think gifted education is incredibly important. I don’t know how to say this without sounding braggy, so I’m just going to say it – much of my education was in gifted magnet programs, and that gave me access to some pretty rockin’ opportunities that not everyone got to experience (which is unfortunate but that’s not going to change, at least not right now).

I have some ideas of fun stuff to do with our gifted kids to extend their learning, both in and out of the classroom; I feel like G/T students sometimes get short shrift these days (maybe always? I’m new to this end of education and while my own was excellent, I don’t know if that’s been true everywhere) because people are so focused on the kids who are below grade level. Now, believe you me, I full on realize that those kids need attention. They desperately, desperately need attention. But EVERYONE should always be making growth, and just because a kid is already scoring advanced doesn’t mean he or she couldn’t be doing even more.

Plus I love the gifted kids; some of my colleagues find them somewhat challenging because they can be royal pains in the ass, but I think they’re awesome. Talking to them is super fun and even helpful at times because they have such interesting ideas. They keep me on my toes, and as long as I keep them on theirs, I don’t usually have a lot of behavior problems. I’d love to take on this new challenge for those reasons. (Oh, and a good resume thing, right? Always good to build that resume!)

But. The con, and it’s a big one. (And there’s always a con, right?) Time. This year I’ve got a lot already. New curriculum. New PD thing I’m doing that will require at least a couple of days out of the classroom. Three leadership committees that I’m on (including honors, which would sort of tie to this, but not fully). Running the school newspaper. Oh, and then there’s the whole being married and wanting to see my husband every now and again thing.

So I don’t know. What would you do? If you were in my position, would you take on this additional commitment to something you really care about, or decide that you’d be overextending yourself and decline? Advice, please please please!

(Photo credit to Andreanna.)

(PS No idea what is up with my fonts here. Blogger is mad at me and I don't know what to do about it. Sorry.)


Tom Roth said...

Take it! Take it! Take it! For all the reasons you stated. I am the GATE coordinator at my school - and believe me those kids need the time and attention that all the other kids also need. All too often those kids are left on their own because, "it is not worth it to spend too much time working with the kids who already have high test scores - it does not help the school score as much as raising the scores of some of the other kids." All kids need time and attention and from what I have read of your posts you have the passion to meet the needs of all the kids.
Just my 2 cents.

Rachel said...

Hm... all those other gotta do what's right for you. I would ask how many actual days are those other commitments really going to take? But honestly, I think I would decline. I feel strongly about the fact that (ultimately) work is work and not my life. I think it is WAY too easy for teachers to get caught up in all the educational duties, take work home, etc. and suddenly work is your life. I work to live, not the other way around. I'm fortunate enough to work at something I enjoy, too.

Unfortunately, because our work involves young people and often young people who don't get help from anyone else, we feel guilty and take on more than we should. This is a hard question!

teachin' said...

Thanks to both of you for your advice. I decided to go for it - I'll probably be totally overwhelmed at times and wonder what the hell was wrong with me, but I think I'll really enjoy doing the G/T stuff. And I'll go back and reread this comment when I'm losing my mind mid October. :)

"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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