You hear it at home, at school, at your friends’ dinner party… I’m bored!
If you have ever stubbed your toe, you know how much it hurts. But, do you go around saying my toe hurts when you haven’t stubbed it? No!! You only say it hurts when it has actually happened to you.
Likewise, these kids probably are bored! They might have covered that subject in a book, video, tv programme or on the internet, already. What is to stop these children from saying they are bored? Things that don’t bore them, surely!
Now, I know every subject at school is not going to interest every child, every time. There will be up and down days in excitement levels for all students. But, how about we try to give the gifted something that interests them – even if it is only them, sometimes?
You can organise their favourite topic as a fill-in activity while you are teaching the rest of the class something else. I look at it this way – when a child continually annoys you all at discussion time, because he/she is not interested in the topic, don’t try shoving dirt uphill to make them listen. Give them something else to do so at least the rest of the class can get on task for the next activity, and you can deal with the out-of-step student later, while the majority are working on what you want them to be doing.
At the end of the day, if you can negotiate some alternatives for your gifted student to work on, that really interests them, before they complain, they won’t see you as giving in to them. Have it handy (say in an activity centre), and offer it at the first inkling of disruption, and it will increase productive time in the classroom for all involved.
Some people call it ‘personalising learning’. I call it my ‘emotional economy’. It saves on annoyance and produces less disruption. Have you ever thought of it this way?