Linda Fullhart, Gifted Specialist
I graduated from The University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education back in the 1970s. I completed my Master's of Elementary Education degree with a specialization in Gifted Education from University of North Texas in the 1990s. I have completed over 18 hours of classes concerning working with the gifted. I continue to attend seminars - locally, state-wide, and nationally to increase my knowledge of working with gifted learners.
I have been teaching in GCISD for 23 years. For the last 17 years I have been a Gifted Specialist and have had the privilege of one of the teachers of the PAT program at several schools in the district. I have been the PAT teacher at Silver Lake since 1999. Last school year I had the honor of being named Silver Lake's Teacher of the Year and then in May was honored again when I was chosen as the GCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. There are so many wonderful teachers here at the Lake, so I was truly honored when they chose me as the Teacher of the Year. I will work to make sure I live up to this distinction!
I love working at the Lake! There is a feeling of excitement and joy in this school that permeates through every classroom. The teachers here are supportive of each other as well as their students. They care about what is best for students. They care about encouraging students to be the best they can be. I feel privileged to work with this amazing group of people. This is truly a school "home" for me. I am looking forward to working with our new leader - Dr. Gonzalez this school year. I am one of those that embraces change - it will seem strange to not have Ms. Dunn with us this fall, but Dr. Gonzalez will bring his own special mark to our campus.
Giving students the tools they need to become a life-learner is how I view my job as a teacher. The tools that I feel students need are the ones that will make them better thinkers and decision makers; ones that help them to respectfully challenge others' ideas; to learn to be able to justify their own thinking and opinions, and to be true collaborators. The thinking tools we use in PAT class include: higher-order thinking skills, Intellectual Traits, Standards and Criteria, deBono's Six Thinking Hats, Thinking Maps, FFOE, Socratic questioning, and metacognition. I also want my students to see that they are capable of professional student products. The GT team in GCISD continues to add web 2.0 tools into our curriculum. I am excited about this and have attended many trainings and two technology conferences as I search for ways to integrate technology into my classroom, not as an event, but as a just another learning tool. I want to make learning fun but I also push my students to experience the exhilaration of challenge.
After growing up in Iowa and spending several years traveling around the country with my husband, who was then a US Naval Aviator, we settled in Grapevine where we have now lived for 24 years. We have two grown daughters. The oldest lives in New York City and the younger lives in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. This year there will be many trips back and forth to the Big Apple as we work on planning a wedding for my oldest and her fiancé. When I am not teaching, you can usually find me reading, working/collaborating on my computer, baking, traveling, or following my passion - theatre. I am one of the many volunteers at Grapevine's Runway Theatre. I have worked behind the scenes as a member of Runway Theatre's Board of Trustees, an assistant director, stage manager, committee chair, and general volunteer. In the spring of 2010 I had the opportunity to direct my first show, Getting Sara Married. It was a wonderful experience! I have also been seen on stage in several productions there and at other local community theaters. "The arts" runs through the blood in my family. My husband and daughters have also been involved in many aspects of music, theatre, and dance. They also have spent many long hours volunteering with me at Runway Theatre. In 2009 I was honored when Runway Theatre awarded me as their Volunteer of the Year.
I believe in the power of stories. My students can probably best tell you about many of my experiences as an elementary school student. The time I decided to skip school in 3rd grade (and had to stay after for 30 minutes a day for 12 days to pay back the time I missed) to the time I had a wardrobe malfunction one cold winter day in Iowa (before girls were allowed to wear pants at school), to my first starring role in a school play, to my love of reading - especially Little Women (until the Harry Potter series arrived), to the Christmas ornament I made in my 6th grade art class that still hangs on my tree today. As I said, I believe in the power of stories and personal connections - feel free to drop by sometime and we can swap stories.