I have a "GIFTED" child in my room. HELP ME NOW

Discussion in 'General Education' started by prettyg, May 10, 2008.

  1. prettyg

    prettyg Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 10, 2008

    So I'm a Pre K Teacher, I love all the students in my class. We have a special bond. However, I have this student who comes two days a week for only part time. The parent have talked to me about their child's intelligence and how advance the child and how different the child is comparing to all the children in the classroom without any observations whatsoever. There is a GIFTED program about children who are smart and so much better than all the children in this world. Okay, so the parent recently wrote me a letter stating the child's intelligence and IQ test result and that as the child's teacher I am not supportive and that I don't give enough attention to the child and the child's intelligence. And included a packet about gifted children, so I can understand this child's gift. Excuse me, but I am so annoyed and mad about this. Base on my observation this child have very little social interactions with others and can't even complete the class work without being distracted. I have to repeatedly tell the child to stay on task. Now is this gifted? This parent needs a reality check. I'm so mad, I really need all your response and opinion on this topic. I told and gave the letter and the packet about gifted kids to the director, but I don't think my director will really take any proper actions to this. I'm not looking forward to see this child and the parents come to school. AWWWWWWW....
    Help. T
     
  2.  
  3. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    2

    May 10, 2008

    There's only one special child in the world and every mother has it.

    Chinese proverb
     
  4. JustT

    JustT Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 10, 2008

    One year I had a classroom buliten board which was titled "We all have gifts" before I had a child with the helicopter mom. Each child had a cut out of a paper student with a glued on heart to place on the board.

    She didn't mention how much more advanced her child was, though, she did ask how she was being challenged.
     
  5. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,592
    Likes Received:
    4

    May 10, 2008

    You might just talk to the parents about the fact that you are focusing on social skills. Because, as wonderful as their child, that is where you observed child x will be the most interested or is the area child x is working on the most.

    Gifted children can be very easily distracted just like anyone else. The child though needs to be able to show that he can do the work; rather than having an iq test be a judge to say the child can do everything and anything, which is kind of what it sounds like these parents are assuming.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,746
    Likes Received:
    1,156

    May 10, 2008

    Parents who insist their preschooler is gifted are generally overstating the case... but not always.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 11, 2008

    The child may very well be gifted, but unless he learns how to stay on task, complete assignments and interact with his peers, he will never be successful. This child's mother needs to understand that. Since she seems so into literature, maybe you could do some research of your own and find something that says exactly that.
     
  8. educator

    educator Rookie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 11, 2008

    The national foundation for creative and gifted children has a website that has some good information on it. In many instances, a "gifted" child exhibits many of the same behaviors as "ADHD" children. The difference is the reason.....one out of boredom the other out of an inability to stay on task.

    The challenge with not just gifted students, but students at the high end of the IQ scale is to keep them engaged. If you have the class write numbers from one to 100, the first time these students will co-operate. The second time they will co-operate. If others in the class need additional review, the ones who have completed the numbers one to 100 correctly twice really need something more challenging. They are ready to move on, and to force them to continue doing what they already do well not only keeps them from advancing at their normal pace, it bores the crap out of them and they get into trouble.

    When I did my practice teaching, I worked with a first grade teacher who had three more advanced children, and engaging them prior to reviewing the same information with the the other 14 kids was a very rewarding learning experience. It was a first hand lesson in the fact that all children don't develop at the same rate.

    By the way, a couple of the more advanced kids were a little withdrawn from the rest of the class, but it was determined that they had nothing to talk about with the less mature children. They were fine interacting with children in the third or fourth grade, and with adults.

    It was interesting.
     
  9. prettyg

    prettyg Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 11, 2008

    Thanks for all your responses. I did in fact looked into the Gifted program and found the site on the net. It has interesting informations about gifted children. Another thing is at the beginning of the school year, this parent alreadly told me that the child learns nothing in class, that the child says the child plays all day at school when the parent asked what the child did at school. furthermore, there are several students in my class that are advance and I mean reading at a 2 grade level, completes work in a timely manner, always on task, never ask for my assist who are self starters, competitive, and I see that they are real the GIFTED ones. Again, what is your take on this? How do you response to this parent? What is my next step to take to not cause any conflicts?
     
  10. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,565
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 11, 2008

    You are doing something really wise by venting your feelings here. Hopefully that will help clear up what you really want to say to the family. The mother seems to rub you the wrong way, seeming to imply that her child is better than the others, which is making you angry. You believe the child needs to work on social skills.

    My daughters had a prek classmate who was really gifted intellectually. He seemed "above" participating in the circle time songs and games. After some time, though, his reluctance turned to timid tries at participation. By the end, he seemed to really enjoy playing. There is a real value to play and it is true for all children.
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,280
    Likes Received:
    695

    May 11, 2008

    I understand your frustration, but PLEASE don't confuse the terms gifted and high achievers. It is TOTALLY normal for a gifted student to be off task, constantly ask for (demand actually) your attention, not start without conjoling, etc. This doesn't mean they are not gifted.

    Gifted students learn differently. They think "outside the box." High achievers are generally complient, self-starters, who are very easy to love because they are people-pleasers. You can be both, but you aren't always. Many gifted students are not people-pleasers -- they are downright annoying "socially.' That isn't unusual. It can actually be one of the signs that a child IS gifted. Please don't rule out that this child might be gifted simply because he isn't a high acheiver or a people-pleaser.

    This student may or may not be gifted -- in our district we refuse to indentify students until the 1st grade -- but not all districts use the same methods or guide posts. Does your district have a gifted program? If so, refer this child to them immediately, and let them deal with it. If not, you'll need to get a thicker skin for these parents -- because nothing you say is going to change their minds.

    I personally think your problem is more with the parents -- and I would also have a problem with parents who are making such broad generalizations about your class and teaching style without ever observing.
     
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,280
    Likes Received:
    695

    May 11, 2008

    Characteristics of a young, gifted child:

    --is a fast learner
    l--earns with little or no instruction or help
    --understands the meaning of adult conversation
    --began talking earlier than usual
    --knows a lot of words and uses them correctly in sentences
    --is interested in reading
    --can sit through hearing a long book and likes to hear it again
    --has a good memory
    --picks up songs quickly and repeats them accurately after a few hearings
    --will attempt tasks which it knows in its mind how to do but which it cannot yet do physically
    --puts puzzles together easily
    --shows a long attention span for stories or conversation
    --discusses ideas in detail
    --has a sense of humour
    --has a vivid imagination
    --shows interest in complex issues
    --is interested in problems beyond age or experience level
    --is very observant
    --is impatient or easily bored with routine tasks
    --prefers older playmates
    --enjoys speaking with adults
     
  13. prettyg

    prettyg Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 11, 2008

    Thank you, that is exactly what I'm saying. I am not going to identify any students especially the age that I'm working with. The school I work for does not have this program. I understand that this parent is very proud of the child, but the letter and the statements about me, I really felt was an insult. Thanks teachers.
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 11, 2008

    prettyg, this is why I suggested fighting literature with literature. This child may very well be gifted. His lack of ability to sit still and complete tasks is no indication to the contrary. As a matter of fact, my 3rd grader is extremely gifted, but doesn't qualify for the gifted programs because he's not a high achiever on top of it. He requires constant oversight to keep him focused, yet, at 7 years old had completed all of the Narnia books and the Harry Potter series (that were out, he finished them as they came out.) This child is only 9 years old, yet reads at an 8th-9th grade level and UNDERSTANDS what is going on around him in the adult world. He is also talented in math and science, but not to the degree he is in reading...however, he flat out can't complete assignments unless somebody is standing over him. The same child can display both traits.

    Regardless, this child needs to learn how to function with his peers. That, more than anything, will help him excell, if he does, in fact, have above normal intellegence. This mother needs to be made to understand that social development is just as important, if not more so, than academic at this age.
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,746
    Likes Received:
    1,156

    May 11, 2008

    Not all gifted kids talk or walk early; one hears all the time of kids who don't talk till age two, when suddenly they'll ask if someone would please pass the butter. Nor will all gifted kids tackle tasks they know (or fear) they can't yet do: in fact, that's one of the leading causes of procrastination in gifted kids, because they can see how something ought to be done quite a while before they have developed the skill to pull it off as they envision it, and that is INTENSELY frustrating to many gifted kids. And one of the very most important reasons to challenge truly gifted kids is so they can internalize that it's not a bad thing when they need help - and that help without shaming really and truly will be forthcoming.
     
  16. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    May 12, 2008

    One of the true signs of the gifted child - he is not bored! He challenges himself and finds interesting things to learn on his own.

    So, let's say the kid is gifted. What is your curriculum in PreK? I would think social skills are way up there. I might say to this parent, "Wow, that is really neat that Sally is gifted. She will have a much easier time academically. I am going to work to challenge her in her social maturing. My goals for her are 1) begin work on time 2) follow directions 3) do group activities with a positive attitude (or enjoy group activities). In PreK, much of our learning is done through play. If you have any specific ideas on how you would like Sally to be challenged, please let me know."

    You really could consult with another school that has a gifted program. Usually, parents just want to know we care about their kid, and one or two assignments a week, outside of the regular things the kids do, would probably make the parent more appreciative.

    It bugs me too when parents go into this thing about how special their kid is. I had one who just went on and on about how gifted the kids was, and after testing, the kid was slightly above average. I did challenge the student in reading, but anything else I tried, the child was not interested. The child won't join in singing, the child won't attempt any creative writing, the child won't attempt to draw a picture without one-on-one guidance. The child seems truly bored, but if the child were truly gifted - and I have seen some - the child would be getting into everything in the classroom and showing me that "thinking outside the box." I actually have 3 kids this year who I would deem gifted. They are never still, always thinking, always coming up with interesting stories and illustrations, never a dull moment I tell you! They "get" the funny part in books, they have a huge vocabulary - a couple of them are viewed as "odd," but I know they are off the charts. However, their parents are not squaking (sp) about how smart they are - they are letting the kids be who they are and appreciating their kids.

    Lots of parents get confused. If a kid can read early, they think they have a genius on their hands. I try to appreciate that the parents think their kid is awesome, and go from there.

    Funny, this so called "gifted" student in my class has been left in the dust by several of the other hard workers. This gifted child barely lifts a finger to do anything, and believe me, I have tried to engage this child and challenge this child. The child always chooses the road of the least work and creativitiy, while my truly gifted kids and even the average kids who are hard workers go for it with gusto. Very weird.
     
  17. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2008

    I have three children, and my youngest is intellectually gifted -- like weird "Beautiful Mind" off the charts gifted. While all three of my children have specific gifts (one is artistic, one is athletic), my youngest is the one with the intellectual gift (or curse, depending on how you look at it). I mention all this to say, I know the difference, & I don't say my son is "gifted" just because I think he's special.

    First, know that these parents will have their own set of frustrations. I knew the school system couldn't individualize education just to cater to my son. I felt guilty all the time because I knew if I could homeschool him he would thrive, but I couldn't.

    Also, my son's behavior confounded people. Heck, it confounds me. I was constantly being called to school about odd behaviors & emotional outbursts. It was wearing. If this child truly is gifted, these parents have only just begun.

    BUT I insisted that my son have to follow rules. He HAD to behave appropriately in the class room. He was gifted, but he wasn't so special he was above rules. You need to find a way to communicate that as diplomatically as possible.

    I think bonneb's suggestions about what to say are great ones. Also, if you have an academic activity planned, think of some small way you can expand it to require high-order thinking -- just an additional question you could tell that child to think about or draw. You don't have to create extra activities, just extra opportunities. You'll have an answer for your parent, you won't be creating significantly more work for yourself, and you'll have new things in your grab bag for students you suspect are gifted.
     
  18. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    4

    May 12, 2008

    Just because you have a child who is 4 and reading at a wnd grade level doesn't mean they are gifted. Likewise a gifted person is very often not the smartest one in the class

    So there is a test backing that this preschooler is truly gifted or just smart? If it says he is gifted, it is possible as others said that he is 2E or twice exceptional-in this case ADD or ADHD and Gifted.

    I agree with bonneb (with the exception of 2E children and those with social issues)

    The child seems truly bored, but if the child were truly gifted - and I have seen some - the child would be getting into everything in the classroom and showing me that "thinking outside the box." I actually have 3 kids this year who I would deem gifted. They are never still, always thinking, always coming up with interesting stories and illustrations, never a dull moment I tell you! They "get" the funny part in books, they have a huge vocabulary - a couple of them are viewed as "odd," but I know they are off the charts.

    Have you thought about having the parents come in and observe this child during the course of the day?
     
  19. prettyg

    prettyg Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2008

    Again, thank you. All your comments really made me feel better. I can relate to all of you, I have a set of kids in my class who are very intelligent base on the work and the progress I've seen the last year. I don't want to compare but I'm going to, this child took 30 minutes to complete an assignment whereas another child completed the same assignment less than 10 minutes. This child recently had an outbrust with the parent's presence over a color basket this child wanted and another child got it first. The parent did nothing about it but watched the child cried and torn up the bag. I was so upset, it didn't help at all when trying to redirect. Over the last year, I have really challenged the students in my class. I strongly believe that the class is above the PreK level and I would never present the kind of work I've presented to these students just to any group of students. Anyways, I'm done beating myself over this, I'm going to stand my ground and if parents can't handle what I have to say, I suggest they come and observe. Thank you all so much.
     
  20. prettyg

    prettyg Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 12, 2008

    Thanks lemonhead.
    You know what bother's me the most is the parent brings the child 20 minutes late into circle time and always picks up the child 10 minutes late. With so much said about their child, the other parent never drops or pick up the child. I would love for them to come observe.
     
  21. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 12, 2008

    Calliope...I'm with you. Notice when I was talking about my child I only talked about the one with the intelectual gift. He's the one who's also always getting in trouble because he can't sit still and can come across as a smart alec because he's never satisfied with the teacher's answers. My other two children have their talents, and they're smart kids, but they're not gifted like the oldest one is.
     
  22. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    May 12, 2008

    Gifted is not always linguistic.
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,746
    Likes Received:
    1,156

    May 13, 2008

    One thing gifted is definitely not is easy - either to raise or to be.
     
  24. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,563
    Likes Received:
    4

    May 13, 2008

    Prettyg,

    Sounds like if the parents were doing things the way the other parents do and if the child fit the stereotype of the gifted child that all things would be fine. I understand your frustration and I understand theirs. Is this child their only child? I agree with whoever said "this is just the start" for those parents- they will be dealing with a lot in the years to come. Been there, doing that!

    The problem you seem to be having is with the parent and what they aren't and are doing and the communication you are having with them. I bet if they were more cooperative and you had more experience with gifted kids, this wouldn't really be a big issue. I think they need to see their child in action and what you are doing in the class. Do you have an assistant?

    Have you ever seen this comparison between gifted and brighthttp://www.bownet.org/BESGifted/brightvs.htm
     
  25. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    May 13, 2008

    When I was in elementary school, we had a gifted program too--- they were all kept in the same class together and just had a new teacher every year. None of them socialized with us and they were taught that they were better than us "normal, below average" students. That's my attitude about these so-called "special" kids. And honestly those who need the extra attention and help are those who need to boost their skills in areas.

    I would be upset too about the situation and I might take my own notes about the child to show the parent that her oh-so-special child needs help in areas and isn't perfect. Grr...
     
  26. educator

    educator Rookie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2008

    Ouch BioAngel,

    All parents think their children are special. That's a reality we have to work with. I can't imagine that antagonizing the parents will help the child.

    I must admit that I've enjoyed watching experienced teachers handle more advanced students with confidence and skill. I've also watched the same teacher handle handicapped students with patience and the same level of skill. I can only hope to one day be able to cope as well in a setting of diverse students.
     
  27. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,041
    Likes Received:
    207

    May 13, 2008


    bonneb gives some great suggestions. I would point out that taking the road of "least work" can sometimes indicate giftedness, particularly if the way of more work is straightforward and obvious. They may also have a rich internal life that's disconnected from anything obvious, and so may just appear distracted and daydreamy.

    While it can be annoying if a parent misconceives their child as gifted, I would strongly advise against ever, ever arguing them over it. You can use a lot of the information here to help defend practices you have. Gifted children need socialization, they develop at different rates, you differentiate and give opportunities for creative thinking as much as possible (to all your students, of course, but you don't have to tell them the "gifted" problem is given to everyone. Or you can tell them -- after all, you want to be able to identify otherwise unknown gifted children, who (as noted above) may not be the obviously high achievers). You can point out that most gifted children have some difficulties somewhere along the line, and say you're working on ameliorating those difficulties in order to let their intellectual strengths shine. In the end, you don't really have to determine whether the label "gifted" fits on the child -- all you have to do is determine what's right for the child to be working on at the time.

    If a parent wants some type of formal grade or curriculum acceleration, you would have to bring in administrators and other evaluators anyway.

    Above all, as teachers you should remember that you're seeing the child for a slice of time. What you see might well be perfectly accurate for that time frame, but not for the future. You're not actually seeing anyone "left in the dust". It takes years and years for that.

    Generally, though, the characterization here is accurate. My first son is gifted -- he's had the iq test, but I knew he was gifted long, long before that. He would do things like go to the Toyota museum, get to the first exhibit and spend fifteen minutes carefully examining the old car there, firing off dozens of questions to a delighted museum guide on the functions of each part of the car, making leaps and guesses about what additional parts of the car did. He would watch all his own shots, blood extractions and (once) stitches with great interest. Even when he was a year old, when putting him on the merry-go-round instead of looking at the horse or waving at mom, he'd be looking at the top of the pole at the mechanism that made the horse go up and down. However, within the first week of first grade the teacher was telling us he might need to be held back or put into a special ed class, based on very little observation (and, obviously, she was incorrect).

    My second son, as far as I know, is not intellectually gifted. Usually when I say this I get a reaction as though I think less of him, and people note that he may evince intellectual gifts later (which is true, of course). However, I know him and the gifts he does have, which are wonderful on their own -- in ways, very likely more helpful in life than intellectual giftedness. I won't be at all upset if he never shows any signs of intellectual giftedness whatsoever.

    Well, my wonderful spouse always gets upset when I brag about the children, and I sometimes get carried away with it. So I'm gritting my typing fingers and won't say anything about my third son.
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,746
    Likes Received:
    1,156

    May 13, 2008

    If the kids were truly being taught that they're better, shame on the teacher! Sometimes, though, gifted kids come across that way because they haven't developed people skills that are at the level of their cognitive skills - and sometimes we blame the kids for that inappropriately. And sometimes the gifted kids innocently jostle a wound of ours from the past that we haven't resolved.
     
  29. Mommateach

    Mommateach Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2008

  30. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    May 13, 2008

    I'm sorry if I sound mean--- I honestly want every kid to reach their full potential. What I can't put up with are students who think they're better than others and parents who think their special children are better than other children because they've tested to have a high IQ. Just because a child has a high IQ does not mean he or she should get more attention from the teacher--- the teacher is responsible for every soul in that classroom, not just the higher IQ student.

    If all my teachers ignored me because of higher IQ children, I would have never learned how to read, I would have horrible speech difficulties, and be terrified to leave the house. Because I had dedicated teachers I was able to over come my reading learning disability and after 6 years of speech therapy, no longer have issues speaking.

    That's why my attitude is the way it is. I love students--- no matter what their IQ is and I wish parents would stop making a huge fuss over their child and just let them enjoy life instead of continuously pushing them to learn more and more.
     
  31. prettyg

    prettyg Rookie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2008

     
  32. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    801
    Likes Received:
    3

    May 13, 2008

    Funny, because I personally have a High IQ. I lack people skills. I process information and fire off questions and answers at rates that have impressed teachers, administrations and superintendents since I was in kindergarten, and continues to this day.

    Yet, I also suffer from dyslexia, and struggled at learning to read as a result. In Grade 3, they wanted to hold me back. In Grade 5 they wanted to skip me ahead. I wasn't diagnosed with dyslexia until Grade 8. By Grade 10, they'd diagnosed me with ADHD.

    I work with a teacher who is nearing retirement. He and I recently had a conversation where he admitted that he was amazed by my processing abilities. He couldn't believe how quickly I was able to process information and present ideas at staff meetings. He truly believes I should someday be in administration.

    I finished high school with an 85% average. I was told, time and time again, that if I had applied myself it would easily have been in the high 90%s. In University, I spent my time drunk, and came to class as seldom as possible. I completed school with a 76% average and the comment that I should have better applied myself.

    I don't need a three day discussion on absenteeism in the professional world. I can write the paper after 15 minutes. I dont' need to spend 3 weeks dealing with what to do with high performance athletes in the high school environment. I'm done after a day.

    The fact is, I process faster then many people twice my age. I am able to draw on the experience of others in ways that most people aren't able to. I am continously told that I don't need to prove how much I know - when that's not even what I'm trying to do. In fact, I don't care if people think I'm smart. They will form their own opinions. Asbergers has also been tossed around in my case.

    The fact is, there is no clear answer at the Pre-K level. At that age, every child is gifted and needs to be challenged.
     
  33. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,544
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 13, 2008

    Wow. I was interviewing to teach at a gifted school. I would have been the only teacher for 32 students, ranging in ages of 6 to 13. I am now soooooo glad I nipped that one in the bud. Holy cow.
     
  34. educator

    educator Rookie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 14, 2008

    BioAngel,

    Again, every parent feels their child is special, and every parent will advocate for their child. (I know this as a parent, and have seen it as a teacher in training.)

    You cannot shortchange a child because you resent the way a parent acts, you cannot encourage one child to think that they are better than another, and you cannot neglect a child because their potential is less than another child's.

    Now, for the easy part. They are all children, and they are your children for a period of time. Give each of them your best effort, your sincere encouragement and a challenge big enough to allow them to develop some confidence and self esteem, but small enough not to overwhelm.

    It's not easy, but it's like watching an infant learn to walk. You don't really teach the infant to walk, you provide stimuli and tools so that they can figure it out. The reactions and successes of your students is the stimuli, the knowledge you can share is part of your arsenal of tools, and your desire to make a difference will give you the patience to figure it out. Get out there and learn to walk.

    Good luck, and remember.....the children are your responsibility, not the parents.
     
  35. JustT

    JustT Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 14, 2008

    I believe in a mixed ability classroom and grouping. This teaches everyone to work together and sometimes the group decides to utilize each person's "gifts" to get the task done. It's amazing to see one person take charge, another become the artist, some become the writers, and others become the builders. With simple guidlines, the squatters are given jobs by the take charge people. At the end of the timeframe... they all seem proud of what they built together.

    Intelligence is great but... wisdom is better... teaching students how to use their gifts to better the community is priceless.
     
  36. newbie1234

    newbie1234 Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 14, 2008

    Gifted programs exist for the same reason that other exceptional education programs exist; they benefit students who process information in a different way than the majority of their peers. It doesn't mean that gifted students are better than anybody, or more likely to achieve greater things; gifted students are just different, is all, and they learn differently from the majority of their peers. It's helpful, I think, to paint gifted programs in the same broad brush strokes as other exceptional education programs. If a parent was advocating for accommodations for a child who processed information at a slower pace than other students, I don't think there would be as much resistance.

    I know the word "gifted" is a lovely word that makes it sound like students in that category have special attributes that nobody else has, and for that reason I wish there was a different term of art, but as several people have pointed out, gifted children face challenges that most other students don't have to face. It's a double-edged sword.

    As a child, I fit the gifted stereotype. I was extremely intelligent, but my social skills were horrible. Elementary school was an emotional rollercoaster for me because one teacher one year would put me in the gifted program, and another teacher the following year would threaten to hold me back due to my social skills, or try to put me in the special education program. One year I'd be in gifted, and the next year I wouldn't be. When I wasn't in gifted classes I was bored to tears, I was picked on because I was different, I dreaded going to school, and there were even a couple of teachers who blatantly resented me because my parents were pushing them to put me in gifted classes. As a teacher, I hope to never put any child through that. As a parent, I'm relieved that my son isn't gifted so he doesn't have to go through that.

    When I say I was bored, I'll give you example. I learned to write the alphabet, upper and lower case, before I started kindergarten. This was back in the dark ages when preschool was less common, and this was unusual for my elementary school. The first day of class the teacher handed out paper and asked everybody to write as many letters as they knew, and I was the only one who knew the entire alphabet. We spent weeks and weeks learning the alphabet, and I was bored beyond belief. You must be able to empathize at least a little with how boring that was. Imagine having to sit through a college course that does nothing but teach you how to spell "cat." You'd go nuts. It wasted my time and the teacher's time.

    Pre-K seems a little early to identify a child as gifted, but it's possible. The parents seem pretty pushy, but they just want what is best for their child who very well could need special accommodations. It's unreasonable for them to expect you to create a gifted program out of thin air just for their child, but it wouldn't hurt to read up on gifted kids and be cognizant of the kid's special needs while he's in your classroom. If his parents want him in a gifted program, they really should have placed him someplace that has a gifted program, though.

    ETA: I was gifted while my sister was bright. As adults, we've wound up making around the same amount of money with almost identical careers. Our grades have always been similar. The main difference between us is that I have struggled socially and I have struggled with expressing myself effectively in professional settings whereas she has not struggled with either problem.
     
  37. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,414
    Likes Received:
    1,559

    May 14, 2008

    This and SO MUCH of what you wrote is similar to my "fun" time in school. I even had one teacher threaten to pull me out of my enrichment program because I wasn't functioning in my regular classes, but he didn't notice that I was pretty much the class freak because I would sit on the playground and read Edith Hamilton's Mythology instead of get picked last for kickball. It's a shame there wasn't a Resource Room for the socially inept, isn't it?

    In retrospect, I really wish my parents had NOT made a big deal about my Stanford-Binet test results. Reading some of the other responses makes me think some of my teachers were annoyed with me and with them. Thankfully, I seem to be making it up to my past educators by entering the teaching field. Half the reason that I love teaching is because I adore working with special needs students on both sides of the spectrum.
     
  38. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,746
    Likes Received:
    1,156

    May 14, 2008

    Thing is, catnfiddle, it doesn't necessarily take parents who make a big deal of the test scores: some teachers seem to be annoyed with gifted kids for the mere fact that they exist.
     
  39. newbie1234

    newbie1234 Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 14, 2008

    Wow. That's pretty much exactly what school was like for me. It's funny how all of us gifted folks struggled in very similar ways. I know I certainly didn't feel like I was part of a special group or better than anybody else. I always felt awkward, different and rejected, mainly because I was (probably still am).
     
  40. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    6

    May 14, 2008

    A lot of what you guys are describing is exactly my experience in school. I had absolutely NO social skills and once got in trouble for telling my second grade teacher (a nun) that we shouldn't celebrate Christopher Columbus as a hero because he enslaved and murdered the indigenous peoples (yes, I used those words). I'm also severely dyslexic and was threatened with special ed because I had a hard time learning to read and write. I've never considered myself "gifted", at most just unusually bright. One of my sisters, who's "just" bright" was far more successful academically until college (where I was allowed to pick classes that kept me intereseted). She also makes about 7 times my salary because of the field she went into.

    I was never allowed into the "gifted" programs in school because my solution to boredom was to refuse to do the work, yet, on my own, I taught myself single and multivariable calculus, linear algebra, real and complex analysis, abstract algebra and probability theory by the end of high school.
     
  41. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,746
    Likes Received:
    1,156

    May 14, 2008

    A lot of gifted kids learn to deal out of the work, partly because it's boring and partly because they learn that when they finish early, they're likely to be assigned more of the same to keep them busy. Who needs that?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Ima Teacher,
  2. Christina Papadopoulos
Total: 252 (members: 4, guests: 229, robots: 19)
test