Each year, the NAGC convention is held in a different city during the second week of November. It attracts thousands of educators and school administrators from around the country. Many are already specialists in gifted education, looking to expand their skills and knowledge. Others are attending in hopes of learning some basics about the wide variety of special educational and affective needs of this group of kids. Visit the NAGC website for more information on the convention.

As the Gifted Youth Coordinator for MN Mensa, I began attending NAGC conventions in 2007. In 2011, I helped start a Special Interest Group (SIG) for gifted-GLBT students within NAGC, and I have had the opportunity to present there several times since. This year, though I will not be presenting, I am attending the convention in Phoenix. The SIG, in which I hold the position of advocacy chair, has recently progressed to become a network — a larger organization within the Association — and this will be an important convention for those of us who hold leadership positions in the network.

NAGC has a number of networks, each of which is responsible for strands and tracks of sessions that are geared toward equipping teachers to help their gifted students in the classroom. In addition to my network, some of these networks include Middle Grades, Arts, Special Populations, Professional Development, STEM, and Research and Evaluation. Attendees may go to any sessions they feel will be beneficial to their teaching or counseling efforts, regardless of the network to which they belong.

The convention also hosts a good-sized vendor exhibition hall. In addition to organizations that offer educational support and social opportunities for gifted youth, there are publishers of books and games, travel and camp programs, and — not surprisingly — assessment companies. Here’s a link to the exhibitor list.

Beyond networking with my gifted-advocacy colleagues, I hope to have the opportunity to talk with people at the convention about Questar. When I return, I will report on how that went.