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

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

  1. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    May 14, 2008

    3sons - thank you for the spelling help! I don't know what is happening to my gifted spelling skills!!!! Seriously, they are slinking away at night . . .

    My daughter's kinder teacher identified her as gifted. There was no program at the school to identify gifted students, but in this teacher's experience and study, she believed my dd was gifted.

    My daughter taught herself to read at 4 -actually a funny story: I was taking care of a child with Down's syndrome who had learned to read in kindergarten, and this child challenged my dd to learn to read! So she did.

    Anyway, the kinder teacher did small things to encourage my daughter. She would let her do assignments "outside the box" and not fuss at her for doing it differently that everyone else. She put my daughter in with the first graders for language and reading - she continued to be challenged by having reading and LA in an upper grade throughout her elementary years.

    We as parents did not even tell our daughter about this. We encouraged her to be creative and explore her interests. She was never bored, and we never made a big deal out of good grades. We always praised her for her hard work, and for her high marks in citizenship.

    Today, she does not stand out as gifted. She is very talented in the arts, makes great grades, scored well on the SAT, and in my opinion is gifted socially - she can talk to many different kinds of people and gets along with people, cares about people, is respected by her peers, and knows how to stand up for herself. She has learned to fit in while sticking with her own beliefs.

    From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate how her teachers trained her in social skills and made her toe the line with accuracy, deadlines, all those little details. I appreciate that they challenged her without making a big deal out of anything.

    As has been said, our job is to take each student and appreciate them and try to challenge them to grow. It is the toughest and most rewarding job on earth. I would just get to know this kid and find small ways to challenge her interests. But she should be expected to meet the standards just like everyone else. The parents will hopefully calm down one day, but it might not be in our lifetime! I think if you just do some small things, they might be happy. If not, put it back on them "What suggestions do you have for me to enrich her learning?"
     
  2. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    May 14, 2008

    This has turned into an interesting thread.

    I was not recommended for the gifted and talented program at my school until third grade. In retrospect, about half of the students in that program (many of whom were recommended in first grade) did not make it into the honors class circuit by high school. I can only surmise this means that giftedness is not necessarily a predictor of academic success, or perhaps even that childhood intelligence tests may not translate into the future adult IQ.

    Every year in honors English I have a couple of incredibly intelligent kids who won't do the assignments; many of them will draw or read instead if given the chance. The only student to fail my honors class (although many drop down mid-year) was one of the most insightful students I've ever had.

    I'm trying to put this tactfully . . . I've seen teachers of honors/AP/specialty classes at my school who seem to be insecure in their own intelligence, and who lash out at the gifted kids as a result. One teacher had a kid correct her for saying "analyzation" instead of "analysis" on the first day of class. She blew up--"Don't you EVER correct me!"--when she could have turned it into a laugh and a mini-lesson about Greek word endings.

    Ideally, a teacher of gifted students at the high school level should be more learned than they are. Maybe not intelligent--because even the most intelligent teachers will have kids who are smarter than they once every few years--but I think that an honors English teacher should have a wide vocabulary, be well read, etc.

    I'm not saying that teachers who aren't "gifted" themselves can't teach the gifted at the high school level. But I do think that part of being an English teacher is helping them develop their critical thinking skills, their higher order thinking, and this is difficult if the majority of the class is on par with or past the teacher in this regard. Naturally, this would lead to the kids questioning the teacher, and the teacher feeling insecure/threatened.
     
  3. MsMongoose

    MsMongoose Companion

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    May 15, 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."
    Not necessarily. The ability to find things of interest involves both learning how to find interesting things and, to some degree, innate personality traits. Helping a child--gifted or not--learn to find things of interest in various situations is of great value. In a classroom, it also involves having some appropriate tasks--5 year old fingers can only write the numbers 1-100 so fast, no matter how well the owner knows them, and how many times they have done it before.
     
  4. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    May 15, 2008

    I do think that gifted children can become bored - but only if they are restrained from pursuing their interests or have their spirit dampened by adults who won't allow anything outside the box. I recognize gifted children as seeking out interesting things to do. They don't wait around for me to spoon feed them.

    But I absolutely agree that especially at the high school level, the gifted are often not productive. Somewhere along the way they have been allowed to use their specialness as an excuse to be lazy! All kids need to be challenged to meet the mundane expectations of life, then move on to the more exciting things.

    I agree sometimes teachers are insecure and threatened by gifted or bright students, and/or frustrated by not being able to get anything out of the kid. It can be very frustrating to see such great ability in front of your eyes, but not be able to get the kid to use his gifts. Some teachers get frustrated and are prone to treating the gifted poorly.

    I have to remind myself sometimes that I am not the ultimate authority on anything. I try to laugh at myself in front of my kids. I try to listen and if they have an idea or answer that isn't exactly what I was looking for, but it is good, I try to go with it and encourage the creative thinkers to use their creativity. Sometimes it is a challenge because you have to keep everything moving.
     
  5. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    May 15, 2008

    I understand that and I have no issue with a parent coming to me asking about this or that situation. What I am against is a parent expecting me to give their child extra attention in class--- this means ignoring my other students, especially those who truly need the extra attention...those lacking in my class.

    And I never said a teacher should ever do any of these things!

    I have no issue with challenging my gifted students as long as I am able to have enough time to challenge my WHOLE class. And I still believe it's the parents' role to continue that challenging enrichment outside of the classroom: I have a huge dislike for parents who take no responsibility in teaching their children. Learning doesn't stop outside of the classroom--- sadly many parents think its ONLY the teacher's responsibility.
     

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