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New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education's Blog

What's the Story? 

Making the world a better place for gifted kids, one yarn at a time.


Looking Forward, Looking Back

A celebration of growth, courage, hopes and dreams



Engrossed in learning the ‘ins-and-outs’ of a co-operative board game, they are united in a battle to save the Kingdom of Camelot. As I write, I am an observer, witnessing like-minds thriving on the challenge of learning new rules, developing shared language (where ‘Merlin-ing’ is a verb), crafting strategy, and enjoying the company of others with a shared love of gaming. It’s both a privilege and a delight to witness. Neither age nor experience poses a barrier.

So many wonderful things come from this time together. There is a true sense of belonging, confidence displayed in a common space of safety. Here the skills of leadership, communication, questioning, problem-solving, prioritising and negotiation are practiced collectively; an array of high-value transferable life-skills. Learning is occurring through explicit teaching, trial and error, observation, conversation, reflection, all within the framework of networked mentoring. Youngest to oldest, they are all being stretched in their thinking and approaches. What is obvious (and delightful) from the sidelines is the intense focus, careful consideration and anticipatory tension, interspersed with collective resignations and sighs, cheering and laughter.

As I sit here contemplating the joys we experience in seeing our young people thrive, I can’t help but think back over the year and appreciate the opportunities that have been forthcoming. Almost a full year since the last summer holidays, we again close in on the chance for more family time; and opportunities to spend time with like-minded family members. As thoughts begin to turn to the busy end of school year activities and transitioning to the new school year, we get so focused on getting things done, that we often forget to take a moment to appreciate the journey so far, and just how far the kids (and ourselves) have come. So, this blog is an offering to you, to do just that.


Raising gifted children can be a struggle that can leave us feeling exhausted, confused, despondent, misunderstood, isolated and lonely, yet these very circumstances are also an invitation to connect into the gifted community - our very own support network who “get” the journey you are on. It is here we find our tribe; a place where there is recognition, understanding, and celebration. Here, we are witness to stories of sorrow, heartache, joy, and celebrations. Our world is expanded and suddenly we are not so alone anymore and can revel (and perhaps also commiserate) in the fact that others do in fact share our experiences. Our kids’ intense emotions are normalised, as are common parenting challenges such as procrastination and the ongoing thirst for deep personalised learning. Just knowing this can bring some relief - even if it doesn’t help us in responding to these challenges more aptly.


What are some of the best resources you would share that you stumbled upon across the course of the year?

What would you recommend to other parents of gifted kids? 


Within these gifted networks, we are also privileged with access to wonderful resources. Whether, like through some of our earlier blogs, these include suggestions such as online tools to support reluctant writers or how to help our children experience a sense of flow, we can find nuggets that resonate with us, and which we can then tap into.

For me, as with many of you reading this, our gifted communities are a lifeline. Whether sharing in a safe space as proud parents, cringing about a school report, or seeking help - we are in this together. Let’s make the most of this, and round out the year by sharing some of our great stories to celebrate growth, courage, hopes, and dreams.


Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua

My past is my present is my future. I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past.



Mā te wā, until next year.

Happy holidays from the team at the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education



'What's the Story?' is a new blog section which is being written for the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education, with posts being added regularly. The purpose of this space is to share musings and anecdotes relating to giftedness and gifted education to provide a form of information and support for those living with and/or teaching gifted learners. Please do share them along.


We would love to hear from you.  Grab a virtual cuppa and share your story in the comments.

What's the Story? Making the world a better place for gifted kids, one yarn at a time.


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Please note that the views expressed in these blogs are those of the author and not necessarily representative of the views of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

Image credit: DSC04039 by Mark Ordonez is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. The image has been modified. 

Looking Forward, Looking Back

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