January 2021
“Lessons Learned, Moving Forward” - a WATG Town Hall Meeting
Mark your calendar and plan to join WATG via Zoom on Wednesday, January 27 from 3:30-4:30. WATG knows that many of you want a place to share ideas and learn from others as we all navigate this ever-changing educational environment. Operating under the theme “Lessons Learned, Moving Forward,” our upcoming town hall meeting will provide you with an opportunity to network with other professionals within the GT community. Together we will discuss successes and lessons learned during the first semester of the 2020 school year so that we might learn from each other and end the year strong. Participants can expect an opportunity to actively share ideas, lessons learned, and future goals with other educators who work with gifted learners.
WATG Blogs
From the Board
Happy New Year from the WATG board! After the unforgettable year of 2020, we truly hope that 2021 is a fresh start for all of us, and the WI Association for Talented and Gifted also looks forward to new ideas and fresh starts.

One of the ways that WATG has begun to look at the new year is to reimagine some of the ways that we work together as a board. Our strength as an organization relies on our Executive Assistant and a highly dedicated group of volunteer board members who work tirelessly on behalf of gifted individuals in Wisconsin. We also rely on volunteers who choose to work with us on shorter term projects as well. An example of this is the cadre of fabulous speakers who join us every year to present at our fall annual conference, and we are truly thankful for them. Another example is the group of people who volunteer to translate portions of our newsletter into Spanish for our Spanish speaking constituents. We are truly grateful to them as well.
(WATG extiende un sentido de gratitud al Dr. German Diaz de las Escuelas Públicas de Milwaukee por ayudarnos con la traducción de este artículo en Español para nuestras familias de habla hispana y nuestros educadores. Esta traducción también se puede encontrar en nuestra página web). 
(WATG extiende un sentido de gratitud al Dr. Martha Lopez de las Escuelas Públicas de Milwaukee por ayudarnos con la traducción de este artículo en Español para nuestras familias de habla hispana y nuestros educadores. Esta traducción también se puede encontrar en nuestra página web). 
Gifted in Perspective, Jackie Drummer, WATG Advisory Board Member and Past President
Few would argue that 2020 was a stellar year, but some might argue that we learned many things from our “grand pause” during 2020, especially in the field of education. Modified face-to-face, hybrid, and virtual learning have all cast bright spotlights on our “classrooms” and practices, and have revealed strengths and weaknesses that require analysis, and, in some cases, new starts. In a way, the grand disruption of 2020 has forced us to examine and perhaps change the way things have always been done. We have a rare opportunity to use lessons learned to find better ways to serve all children. Where should we start? What things might be best to tackle first?
Ask the Doctor - Learning from Oral History
Dr. Wanda Routier, Past WATG Board Member
While the end of the year brings a time to reflect upon events from the past year, the new year often brings resolutions to perhaps do things to improve oneself, to spend more time doing an activity, or to change a habit, among other things. Given the fact that over the past year we have lived through very different times navigating a pandemic, there are lots of stories to tell.  
GT Meanderings - Nostalgia
Ruth Robinson, WATG Past President
Starting a new year usually makes us all a little nostalgic. Granted, most of 2020 is best forgotten; however, some positives resulted. Technology allowed conferences to happen, virtual applications encouraged distant family members to see and speak to each other and helped friends keep in touch. Nostalgia reigned. Nostalgia crept into memories of past gatherings in better times and gives us hope for returning to those ‘in person’ events. 
Meeting the Needs of ALL Gifted Individuals in Wisconsin
Dr, Maria Katsoras - Molzahn, WATG Board Member

If hindsight is, indeed, 20/20, then 2021 promises to become a year of growth for us all. WATG continues to promote a deeper understanding of the needs and realities of all gifted individuals in Wisconsin. We believe that gifted people have existed throughout history and are demographically diverse. However, we recognize that children from low socioeconomic status or minority backgrounds often fail to receive appropriate opportunities for talent development. Further, we are troubled by reports indicating that some school districts in Wisconsin are cutting advanced programming in the name of equity, including gifted programming, honors classes, and Advanced Placement classes. Is it possible that social justice advocates believe giftedness does not exist in people of color? What would Maya Angelou, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Kamala Harris, or Carmen Diaz have to say to that? 
(WATG desea extender un gran agradecimiento al Dr. German Díaz de las escuelas de Milwaukee por traducir este artículo al español para nuestras familias y educadores de habla hispana. La traducción también se puede encontrar en nuestros blogs de sitio web.)
Teaching During the Year 2020
By Stacy Novak, WATG Board Member
This school year sure has been stressful for all teachers. Everyone is experiencing different circumstances, but they all provide stress and burnout the same way. Teachers are dealing with virtual learning, hybrid learning, changes within the classroom if in person, students and teachers having to quarantine at various times throughout the school year, and possibly even going back and forth from in-person to virtual and back again.
Gifted and the Arts
Dal Drummer, WATG Advisory Board Member
The other day, I was perusing an article in Edutopia, by Sara Gonzer, entitled The Spatially Gifted - Our Future Architects and Engineers are Being Overlooked, which triggered a number of thoughts about the arts and education of our students. The premise of Gonzer’s article was that gifted programs usually miss students who are gifted in the spatial arts. As a result, gifted programs that focus on using the main assessments of verbal reasoning and math concepts to screen students for gifted programs, tend to leave out students who are spatially gifted and often weak in verbal areas and math. Often, these missed students are also ones from minority populations or ones with disabilities. As a result, gifted program populations tend to perpetuate the very disparities that schools keep working to fix: gifted programs that are lacking in students of color, or lacking in those with disabilities, or 2e (twice exceptional) kids. They remain focused on students who do well academically.
Another Year, Another Election
From the WATG Government Action Committee

2021. It’s a new year - thank goodness! Happy New Year! 
In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, I’d like you to take out your calendar, or open your app, and mark two dates:
 
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 and Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
​ 
Why those two dates? We have some important elections coming up. I know. You’re thinking - didn’t we just do this?