“Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work. It is who you are. You think differently. You experience life intensely. You care about injustice. You seek meaning. You appreciate and strive for the exquisite. You are painfully sensitive. You are extremely complex. You cherish integrity. Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble. Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are utterly fascinating. Trust yourself!”

Linda Silverman~Gifted Development Center Denver

Saturday, 8 September 2012

You might be gifted if...

Many myths and misconceptions about gifted students exist in the minds of parents and educators alike. I myself am the proud parent of a gifted child and I am privileged to teach gifted students.  In my many years as an educator I have observed a wide variety of behaviours and characteristics. I have also seen/read many published checklists of "gifted"  behaviours and characteristics. One thing I can say for certain, is that NOT all gifted students are alike and they are not all gifted in the same way.

I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year getting to know my students.  I ask them to complete interest inventories, bring in items that tell me what they value ("Me Bag" homework), I have them fill out multiple intelligence and learning style surveys and I administer some academic diagnostic tests (such as the Morrison-McCall spelling survey, and the Schonell Vocabulary test).  I start to develop a "profile" of each student as I work towards creating an IEP (Individualised Education Plan) for child.  I also ask for input from the parents. 

Here are some things I have observed over the years parenting my amazing child and working with gifted students.

The student may:
• Ask many questions and be very curious
• Easily get "off task" and "off topic"
• Possess a large amount of information
• Be impatient when not called on in class
• Have a good memory
• Learn new information quickly
• Become easily bored
• Retain information easily
• Become disruptive in class
• Master reading skills earlier
•  Avoid repetitive/rote activities (e.g. worksheets)
• Demonstrate strong abilities in math memorisation
• Display unusual academic achievement
• Complete work quickly ( but often sloppily )
• Be interested in a wide variety of things
• Resist investigation of activities apart from areas of personal interest
• Become involved in a variety of activities 
• Be motivated to try new things
• Leave projects unfinished
• Enjoy a challenge
• Takes on too much and becomes overwhelmed
• Think independently
• Challenge authority
• Express unique and original opinions
• Not handle criticism well (but really who does?)
• Be self-motivated
• Not work well in groups
• Use higher level thinking skills
• Tend to be absent-minded regarding practical details
• Forget homework assignments
• Make connections other students don't see
• Consider unusual approaches to problem-solving
• Posses a strong sense of justice
• Be very critical of self and others
• Like to debate current issues and real life problems
• Like to argue a point
• Be a perfectionist and expect others to be perfect as well
• Posses a sophisticated sense of humour
• Easily get carried away with a joke
• Understand subtle humour
• Have a tendency to become the "class clown"
• Enjoy plays on words and satire
• Demonstrate strong expressive skills
• Be sensitive to feelings of others
• Demonstrate skill in drama/art/music/language
• Be perceived as a "know-it-all" by peers
• Elaborate on ideas
• Be viewed as "bossy" by peers in group situations

1 comment:

  1. I love that comic! I see that every day with my GT kiddos. We will be walking down the hall and something's in the way, they look at me and I have to say "go around". They may be incredibly bright and still have no common sense! They definitely are very different in how they learn, that's one of the things I love about teaching that group. :)