The Truth About Being a Gifted Student.
The gifted program can open a lot of doors for your young ones. But is it worth the mental toll that it can take on them? I was in the gifted program at my school from 3rd grade. It is a program in that I have seen many students flourish. It is not for everyone; I don’t just mean meeting the requirements.
I vaguely remember how I got into the program. I was pulled aside and sent to the office, where they gave me an IQ test. One part was to make some shapes into different designs. Another was to recite my alphabet backward. A few weeks later, my parents got a paper from the school. It stated that I was considered a gifted student and would participate in other classes. My parents sat me down and explained all of it to me. I do not remember how I felt at the time but considering my personality I was probably uneasy.
The content of the class was typically more focused on teaching us things that we will use in the “real world”. Things like making a product and researching manufacturing costs; Or thinking creatively about how to solve a problem. That was the curriculum throughout elementary school.
Then moving into middle school, there was a shift. Rather than going to a class each day, your history teacher would have to go to training to handle gifted students. We did a history curriculum in that class. It was just a way for the school to have a “gifted class”; I felt bad for the teachers in those classes because it could get quite rowdy.
In high school, there was one class that you could only take in freshman year. It was called “Studies Of The Gifted Mind” and was one of the best courses I have taken. The first semester was about us learning the “Ways Of Knowing”. In the second semester, we were tasked to research a topic and then present it for an entire class period. That would come out to be about 40 min of presentation and 10 min for questions. There wasn’t a rigid rubric, but you were expected to reach the standard set by the teacher. I went into more detail in this article.
How I Survived a 40 Minute Presentation in Highschool
Let me paint the picture, it is freshman year of high school nearing the final months of the school year. I have to do…
After that class in freshman year, there was nothing. After a year, they added a gifted club; Where gifted students would be able to meet up and hang out or play games.
I am going to start with some of the parts that suck. First is the selection process. Nearly every gifted kid I have talked to has said they felt that using an IQ test was weird. Why should we get a somewhat superior education because we passed an exam in elementary? Also, the IQ test has a not-so-wonderful history, which rubs most gifted students the wrong way.
Lots of pressure is placed on these students. Some become diamonds under it, most move on, and others get burnt out. Those that get burnt out can sometimes feel very lost. They’re expected to have straight A’s, get into student government, and be the president of clubs. That gets to someone; especially when it starts at a young age.
These are the main reasons that the gifted system sucks. Of course, it does come with its perks. You gain a little bit more leniency. Schools do not want to punish their so-called star students. Also, you get an edge when it is your word against another student. Admin is more willing to listen to the so-called star student. Gifted students get more offers; for schools, clubs, and scholarships.
To wrap up, the gifted class can be a blessing or a curse. I recommend letting your child take the course if they can. Just be careful and don’t push too hard. It is easy for them the get burnt out. Thank you for reading. I hope that you enjoyed it.