As a gifted and talented teacher, I am able to work with students who vary in many ways. Some are highly intelligent in all subject areas, some really excel in specific areas, such as math or reading,while others are gifted in areas such as creativity, art, or leadership. I am often in awe of the wide range of gifts and talents that these students possess. However, some of them struggle when they find something that is difficult for them, or they think they are simply not good at a certain task. They often struggle to cope with the idea of not being perfect at something.
It is not uncommon for students to come into my office and ask to talk because they are so disappointed in a test score, particularly in an area that is difficult for them. I will sit down with them, talk it over, and often try to give them some advice to put them in a better headspace. This weekend I was talking with a friend who happens to be a psychologist and a parent of two gifted students, and she gave me some wonderful advice to give my students. She said, “Everyone is different and good at different things.” Sometimes students who are classified as gifted and talented feel that they need to be perfect in everything they do and every subject they take in school. They need help and support from their educators, family, and friends to help them realize that being average, or even failing in a specific area, is okay. I will repeat that, being average, or even failing in a specific area, is okay!
If you are a support person for gifted learners, know that they need someone who will acknowledge their feelings. After you have acknowledged what they are feeling, you can do a few different things for them and with them. Here are some ideas:
Gifted learners are often natural born perfectionists who need to have their feelings acknowledged. Once they trust that you understand, they will often let you in to help them tackle their struggles. Good luck on your journey with them!
WATG Board Member
Student and Parent Voices
Hear from and about gifted and talented students and parents across the state Wisconsin.