Thinkersonline is back …

Hmmmm . . .

I’m thinking . . . where do you start when you have so much to say?

Have you met a disillusioned parent of a gifted child who is not enjoying school? They have every right to expect their child should be able to enjoy their school years as much as the next child, but sadly, so often, they don’t.

There are many different reasons for this, just as there are many different reasons for being late home from work!! I couldn’t cover them all in two years of blogging, but I am going to have a try for as long as I can. If one little morsel helps one gifted child to enjoy school, or one teacher enjoy their gifted child more, or one parent of a gifted child to sleep with less anxiety, then I will be pleased.

But for now, what do I start with? The letter “A” is one idea!

“A” might be for anxiety, acceleration, awesome activities, assessment, asynchronous development, or attitude!

I’ll start with asynchronous development – the meaning of which is developing in uneven levels depending on the factors being studied. Often, our gifted students are exceptionally good at some activities, but very average or even under-developed in others. It would be sad to think they would miss out on working with their strengths, in favour of dealing with their weaknesses all the time. You know, the very child who misbehaves in a regular class is not allowed to take part in the extension class, where his/her behaviour might miraculously improve because of the fact there is real challenge for them in a subject they enjoy.

Oral language can be way above reading development and spelling, or academics way above social development. That’s ok, it is what makes our gifted even more unique, and difficult to generalise about. We will just have to treat them as individuals, and start personalising their learning just as we are asked to do for all students.

And then there’s “Johnny” – great sportsman, wins all the titles, exemplary behaviour, but put him in the classroom with a pencil and paper – and suddenly, turmoil on the planet! But “that’s ok, he’s just not an academic!”

Why do we accept that someone is a great sportsman, but not very good academically, but if the shoe is on the other foot, and we have a great academic who doesn’t enjoy sport, we are told for their own benefit, they should be given a broader education outdoors and be compelled to join a team?

Life’s not fair – I accept that, but can’t it be not fair on everyone, to make it fair?

Just a thought to leave you with …

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About Debbie Smith

New Zealand Educator interested in online education, giftedness, and other special needs in education.
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