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Posts Tagged ‘magic’

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Magic Mike and Magic Matt

Magic Mike and Magic Matt

I received my masters in gifted education in 1999. I have been teaching gifted students for the last eight years, but only this year was I able to put into practice the idea of using mentors. In a chapter titled “The Role of Gifted Personnel in Counseling the Gifted” by Joyce Van Tassel-Braska and Lee Baska, the writers include mentorships as a strategy for addressing the special affective needs of gifted children, needs such as “understanding one’s differences, yet recognizing one’s similarities to others and developing skills in areas that will nurture both cognitive and affective development.”

What they do not say is how the mentor relationship is as rewarding to the mentor as to the mentee. I have had the privilege of offering a mentorship to my 5th grade student Matthew who dubbed himself “Magic Matt” years ago. I just happen to know the family of a famous magician in New Orleans, Michael Dardant. Michael visited with Matthew for the first time back in February. I wrote about it here.

A magical package arrives.

A magical package arrives.

Since then, Michael has emailed with Matthew and sent a package of magical stuff. When Michael contacted me to say he was coming by for another visit, I was thrilled. On Wednesday last week, he personally delivered a magician’s jacket to Matthew. And once again taught Matthew a few tricks. As a bystander learning the slights, I am still in awe. Even knowing how they are done, I could not possible execute the trick. There is a talent in the slight of hand, the patter, and even the stance of the magician.

After witnessing again the power of mentorship, I told Michael by text, “You have become someone’s hero.” I can feel Michael’s passion about magic and his increasing interest in this relationship.

Matthew performed for the Mother’s Day program at school on Friday. He was a featured performer on the sidewalk outside a local gallery for Art Walk on Saturday night. He is well on his way to following Michael’s footsteps. I do not have a crystal ball to predict the future, but I am convinced that mentorships work. (And wearing a red jacket helps.)

Matthew amazes children and adults with his slight of hand and card tricks.

Matthew amazes children and adults with his slight of hand and card tricks.

Michael is on his way to the world championships of magic in Italy this summer. Watch his promotional video (He has a hilarious Cajun accent.) and consider supporting his trip.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

This was a week for magic and illusions in my classroom. On Monday, Michael Dardant, otherwise known as Magic Mike (the original), visited my class. Visit his amazing website here.

One of my students has been dedicated to magic for almost 3 years. He did his first magic show for his class in third grade. He is now in 5th grade, and he performed his first public magic show last weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a passionate interest in any of my students.

I got in touch with Michael more than a year ago trying to get him to visit. Finally his schedule allowed for it, and I feel the timing was just right. As I expected, the two magicians shared tricks and chatter, also known as patter in magic shows. Michael has been doing magic since he was thirteen. He performed at children’s birthday parties when my daughters were growing up. He complimented Matthew and his advanced trickery at such a young age. It was a joy to watch these two together. Here is a quick video clip of Michael showing the sponge ball trick to Matthew. Permission has been granted from both Matthew’s mother and from Michael to post this video clip.

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