By Kate Bachtel.
As 2015 closes, the SENG team is reflecting on the past year and identifying areas for growth. We are grateful for each of the amazing individuals within our community. Wherever you are, whatever your stage in life or community role, SENG is dedicated to supporting your social and emotional needs. You are the reason we are here.
The strength and depth of our roots help determine how tall we grow. Children raised in inclusive communities have exceptional outcomes – they grow into adults who are mindful of the greater good and aware of the impact of their actions on others. They care for one another throughout the myriad events and emotions that inform the human experience. When you grow up in a circle, there is nowhere to hide or be lost. Inclusive communities can be found everywhere, in rural, urban, suburban and virtual locations of all economic, racial, gender and linguistic compositions. In SENG circles across the U.S. and abroad, we aspire to support each of you in growing both roots and wings. Which leads to our vision for next year…
SENG is celebrating one of our best years ever. We reached more people with less money than ever before and are engaged in strategic planning to continue to expand and improve.
We have also made some mistakes. There were times we could have been better communicators and also instances we waited too long to take action on a new idea. In addition, we hope to expand our understanding of systems psychology. We learned individuals and groups with histories of dysfunctional conflict and trauma can grow accustomed to that energy. This informs our work at SENG as many gifted individuals’ basic social and emotional needs are still not being met. We hope you will partner with us to insure unhealthy struggle is not the norm for cognitive outliers.
Role and relationship diversity is another area where we continue to mature. Counselors may by nature seek people to counsel, educators, people to teach, and problem solvers, things to fix. We typically find that which we seek. There have been times we got in our own way by reverting to familiar roles. We are proud of the times we held each other to high expectations and took on responsibilities outside our comfort zones.
This year, SENG is searching for mission-focused givers. Who are the people contributing to our communities at high levels? We know many of you, but recognize there are still some humble among us we are missing. How can we support you in increasing the scope and impact of your good work?
Privilege and Responsibility
With the privilege of belonging comes responsibility. At SENG, all are leaders and learners. We contribute to SENG in personally meaningful ways. We fill conference tote bags together, debate best practices, celebrate one another’s achievements, engage in occasional silliness, research new ideas and donate what time, expertise and money we can. We present on stage and pick up trash at events with equal delight.
Thank you for being part of the SENG circle as together we work towards a vision for the future where every individual’s social and emotional needs are met.
Peace and Joy to You and Yours,
Kate & the SENG Team
Dr. Kate Bachtel is the founder of SoulSpark Learning, a Colorado based nonprofit dedicated to optimizing the development and well-being of youth and the educators who care for them. Prior to launching SoulSpark Learning, she co-led the opening of Mackintosh Academy's Boulder campus, a K-8 school for gifted learners. She holds a doctorate in education with an emphasis in gifted from University of Denver and a master's in education with an emphasis in equity and cultural diversity from University of Colorado at Boulder. She also serves as a director at Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) and was president for the 2016-17 term.