Anna, my third-grade classmate, was very shy but too brilliant for the class. Before the teacher could finish the question, her hand would go up, amidst our blank faces! She would ace in all subjects; she could math at light speed compared to any of us, she was too curious about anything and everything around her!
On the other hand, though Joe was nothing less compared to Anna, he would never participate. He was withdrawn from the class as if she never belonged to us!
Back then I just thought he was an all-day-angry boy! Now, after all these years, I can understand the thin line of difference between Anna and Joe and many other! Not all Gifted Students are same! They all have different needs and approach towards education!
My experience with these students has helped me identify them and cater to their educational needs. It is quite possible, you too are teaching one or more of them but are unaware! Look out for below-mentioned traits and personality!!
#1. I know I am Gifted!!
These are the typically Gifted students. They demonstrate an excellent skill in class and are liked and loved by the peers! They get all the praise from the teachers and have cracked their way to top without much effort!
They are often found helping their peers with homework or filling the learning gaps. But, they are also too dependent on their teachers and parents! They do not lack on any forefront, but they are underachievers! They do not have life skills or desire to be the life-long learner! They are happy in their small world!
#2. The Challenger
They are creative, witty and headstrong! They enjoy challenging teachers and parents. They have no regards for the school system, and hence they have no clue how to fit in. This happens because their talent and potential go unnoticed!
The teachers too are frustrated with these chaps due to their “aggressively challenging”behaviour in class! Their “I-dare-you attitude in class disrupts the learning environment and creates a conflict among peers and teachers!
These students need a more favourable environment in the class where their skills are acknowledged, and they are rewarded in one way or the other. This will instil a positive approach in them and help them cope up in class!
#3. The Hush-Hush Gifted
I think this is the Joe Profile! These students hide their Giftedness! They know to fit in they have to be like other kids, so they chose to ignore their gifted stand, and try to mingle with their peers!
This suppresses their need for the special education and conditions them to think and behave alike. Such situations, create behavioural conflict and affect the psyche of these special kids. Instead, they should be motivated to know and accept oneself!! The teacher can ask the student to lead any upcoming activity or offer the platform of interest that encourages them to participate and show their talent.
The final takeaway:
Our means of imparting education has evolved. There has been a paradigm shift from classroom teaching to digital teaching, but, we have left out one little Anna and Joe! They are still struggling and waiting for us, to accept them and help them in advance education! I am not saying we create a different school for them, but we can surely have a more sorted way to identify them and do something for them.
Programmes like ASSET Summer Programme is one of the many programmes that address the gifted education!
The wide selection of courses across the STEM, arts and humanities, covering a diverse range of advanced topics is precisely what a Gifted programme should be that instil the Gifted Student to accelerate their growth and build a network of like-minded peers.
Well, this was my observation of Gifted Students in my class! I am sure, there are more out there! Let me know your exprieicne with them!