Feelings and Emotional Intensity

Gifted children often need help in learning how to handle their feelings. If they have high levels of emotional intelligence they may have difficulty managing the intensity and complexity of their feelings.

Lisa Rivero wrote a really great post on her blog “Everyday Intensity” that helps us to understand the emotional intensity surrounding some gifted children. Read it now … and especially through to the end where she quotes Sidney M. Moon, professor of Gifted Education and director of the Gifted Education Resource Institute at Purdue University. Moon describes emotional intelligence as the “set of skills involved in perceiving, understanding, and regulating emotions” and explains that having both low and high levels of emotional intelligence can pose challenges.

Just a short post today … please read Lisa’s short and compelling blogpost on “Everyday Intensity”

Life at the Edge

Many gifted students live life right at the edge – pushing the limits in all directions. This is the type of personality that pushes through to achieve great things, but sometimes also experiences great resistance.

If you are the out-going, talkative, questioning, and creatively-productive type, your effervescence will probably alienate you as a demanding individual. If you are the serious thinker, poor writer, and deeply absorbed type, you could possibly be considered disinterested or distant (or even lazy!) Continue reading “Life at the Edge”

Many, varied and unique …

How well do you cope with changing circumstances? If you find it hard – if you like a comfortable routine with all things in their place, and everything defined just so – then teaching the gifted could be a challenge. Sally Reis described them as “Many, varied, and unique”, and fitting into a regular square box is not one of their fortes.

With each gifted child comes a challenge and a sense of wonder as to how they think. Take this challenge as a chance to get to know them better. Be open towards them and you may be privileged enough to build a real connection with them. Listen to the heart of the parent, behind the concern for how their child is coping at school. They have already lived a ‘lifetime’ with these children before they even start school.

There isn’t much more that one can say, except – give them a chance to show you their world, before you label them according to your own view of the world.

Kicked while they are down!

For a parent watching a young gifted child come home each day, after their first term at school, unhappy, uninterested, lacking the vitality they had in their pre-school years, is a devastating blow. Then, it is often made worse, when they try to air their concerns with the school. How many times have we heard from parents of some of these children – the school just didn’t want to know – usually, expecting them to be content with “He’ll settle into school eventually” … “Give him time” … “You worry about him too much” … “His behaviour problems need to be dealt with first!!!!” (And I have used the ‘male’ pronouns here on purpose). Continue reading “Kicked while they are down!”

Just when you think you know …

Have you ever been caught off guard? You know, the times when you think you have finally nailed a good response for your child, to encourage a more harmonious atmosphere, and they catch you out – yet again!

Don’t be surprised – and don’t be too hard on yourself either. We react – it’s an inbuilt life-sustaining function to react, especially when we are threatened. We shouldn’t try for a lack of reaction, we should aim for a positive reaction, no matter what the circumstances. Continue reading “Just when you think you know …”

Education Reform Wordle

Click on this Wordle to see a picture of what real educational reform involves. (Excuse the specific American references).
There may be no need to explain why Teachers is the largest word – we must not be afraid to embrace change!

Sec. Duncan’s Response to #blog4reform Wordle


Wordle: Sec. Duncan's Response to #blog4reform

Hope for the Future

Momentum certainly started to increase in the attempts to meet the educational needs of gifted students since the changes in the New Zealand National Administration Guideliness in February, 2005. There has been a slowing to some extent, in keeping with the global recession, but things are still improving.

Please don’t expect this to be a miraculous overnight panacea. Some parents of gifted children will tell you that change has been slow-moving in their schools. Others can report brilliant changes to the management and implementation of gifted education in their schools. Continue reading “Hope for the Future”

Gifted is … As Gifted does …

I’d love to hear comments on what people think this saying means. I have seen it mentioned in books and articles I have read, but so far I haven’t come across a clear definition. I have decided it must refer to the great variety there is amongst the characteristics of all gifted students.

Perish the thought that it could mean that if the gifted child is not producing or “doing”, then they are not gifted! It depends too, on the achievement levels of the gifted child.

Continue reading “Gifted is … As Gifted does …”

And Now to Attitude …

“Yes…some of you might say – their attitudes are the problem. They just don’t try to fit in.” I agree, some gifted students, me included, can sometimes have an attitude that does not easily engender harmony, but we are all human. We are all different, and what do you use to define a good attitude? Compliance? Questioning? Conviviality? Open-mindedness?

I have had to step back in my class many times and ask myself – “Is getting ruffled by this student’s apparent bad attitude going to help the situation, or hinder it?” Some students look at life with such a different lens to myself, that I have to remember, I am the adult here. I am supposed to be the teacher – and I need to find a way to reach this child no matter what their attitude is. My attitude has got to be professional.

Continue reading “And Now to Attitude …”