Wise words

Captured by #Talons' own Jenna
Captured by Jenna

“Do you believe in something beautiful? Then get up and be it.” Ted Leo

Kelly is on to something in the second draft of her This I Believe essay:

A character, even if it is based off of oneself, is not real. His or her experiences don’t have to follow the way of the rules of the world. The character is given a blank page every five hundred or so words, a new chance to create his or herself, a new chance at being somebody, a new chance at redemption, a new chance at life. So embrace your inner character. After all, everyday is a new page that we should not be afraid to write.

4 thoughts on “Wise words

  1. Hello Mr. Jackson!

    I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I will be following your blog for the next couple of weeks and commenting about it on my blog. I was very excited when I learned that you teach a Gifted Program. I noticed you said that you teach “identified” gifted students. If I may ask, what makes them identified? I was in a gifted program in Florida growing up, but I have found that even in Alabama the requirements and activities are much different. I would love to come back to school after graduation to get my masters in teaching a gifted program. Do you have any advice for a future teacher newbie like myself? If so, I would greatly appreciate it!

    I also wanted to say that I loved the last paragraph of Kelly’s blog post. She did an amazing job! Thank you for posting that along with a link to the entire blog post. I am new to blogging, but I am very eager to learn!

    I look forward to reading more of your blog posts. Thank you again!

    Sincerely, Jessica Brown EDM310 student University of South Alabama

  2. Hi Jessica!

    Thanks very much for the comment and interest in my blog and our program. Hopefully some of our resources and experiences provide you with some valuable connections and learning in the next little while. You may want to add my teaching partner, Quirien Mulder ten Kate to your RSS feeds as well (http://www.qmtk.edublogs.org) as well, as she is the Gifted Students case manager at our school, and was instrumental in reviving our school & district’s gifted program.

    To answer your question about identification, our school district identifies students for student-services (on either the gifted, or learning-assistance ends of the spectrum) in a “psycho-ed” test of cognitive skills in grade two (or when requested by parents or teachers in later grades). These students are funded through our ministry of education to receive support in their learning of various subjects & areas throughout their schooling years. In grade nine and ten, students identified as gifted are able to apply for our TALONS program, about which you can read more on our school’s website:


    As for teaching in a gifted setting, I firmly believe (as did George Betts, who wrote the template for gifted learning that our program is based upon) that the strategies we employ can be and are successful across the spectrum of student ability; but they are particularly interesting to see in action with gifted learners, as it is often not their academic or intellectual selves requiring as much stimulation as their social or emotional needs may require.

    More about the Betts Autonomous Learner Model: http://www.muw.edu/ccl/presentations/TheAutonomousLearnerModelforGifted_files/frame.htm

    Hopefully that gives you a good start! We would love to see some of your questions make their way into a blog post of your own that we (students and teachers alike) might be able to lend some input to!



  3. Hello again Mr. Jackson,

    This is Tiffany Fey with my second comment for Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 comment for teachers assignment. As I said before in my previous comment, I am a Junior at the University of South Alabama majoring in Elementary/ Special Education.

    I enjoyed reading this blog post because the words Kelly wrote really spoke to me. I am a writer myself and I feel the same way about characters in stories. I think writing gives you a chance to let your thoughts form a visible image of your mind and whats going on in it. We all have such unique and different thoughts in our heads and I believe that everyone should be given a chance to let people actually see these thoughts.

    Thank you for sharing this blog post, it is really inspiring to see students write in such a great way like Kelly. If you would like to see my summary of your blog posts and the comments I made on them, you can click Here to view my blog. Again thank you for sharing!


    Tiffany Fey

  4. I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I will be a teacher of the future. I love to read and to get in to character. I have started two books and have not finished them. I want explore more and get new ideas to help finish what I started. Even though it feels good to be in character, we have to come out of it to live in the now. Writing or reading can take you anywhere. It takes me out of the harsh things in life to feeling good if I am sad. Writing is great express the way you feel and sometimes it is easier than saying out loud. I liked Kelly’s second draft. It was great.

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