Advice and Tips

Imagine, if you will, a student who is legally blind in a 6th grade math class who needs to sit on the front row to be able to see what the teacher writes on the board. Now, imagine if the teacher unknowingly assigns this student's seat in the middle row. The student might ask to sit on the front row, but the teacher is too busy to fulfill the student's request. Two weeks pass by and the parents write the teacher a letter asking for their child to be placed on the front row. The teacher complies, and moves the student to the front row for one week. After 5 school days, the student's seat is back in the middle row. The parents have had enough and they go to the principal and finally the board of education. Seeing as how their child has a special need and has a personal education plan in place, you can probably tell how this scenario is going to end.

Gifted children also fall under the umbrella of special education. Students who deviate low in the IQ bell curve have unique challenges. Likewise, those students who deviate high also have unique challenges. The hypothetical teacher portrayed above does not have to be legally blind to understand the unique need of the student. Nor would the teacher need to possess a superior IQ score to be able to teach a gifted student. Please consider the following points below as you interact with your gifted student(s). You are the teacher and have been given a wealth of knowledge regarding education, its implementation, methods, and best practices. If you find your classroom roster contains the name of a gifted child, you could possibly be educating the next Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking. While the student might act more like Howard Wolowitz or Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, remember that kids are still growing and maturing.

Points of Emphasis

  1. Avoid using gifted students as the teacher's helper.
  2. Gifted kids don't know everything and need opportunities to grow and develop. Often, these problems are social and emotional. However, teachers can help their gifted students acquire the social skills and resiliency they need to be able to cope with these challenges.
  3. Be watchful - sometimes gifted students play dumb to fit in. Thus, they never reach their full academic or intellectual potential.
  4. A fresh perspective can often lead to more successful learning experiences for your students.