Learning About Gifted and Talented Education
Since Little Man was an infant my Beloved and I have marveled at his unusual abilities. We wondered how it was possible for him to do the things he could do. Others would use words like exceptional, gifted, highly gifted or even genius. We hesitated to speak those words out loud, after all every parent thinks their child is a genius. Right? While still others who couldn’t accept that a child who is intelligent could also have intense emotions have tried to label with words and boxes that just don’t fit.
I have always known that God creates His children to fulfill His purpose, every person is
different ad EVERY individual has unique talents that are their own. I as his teacher just let his interests lead me in his ‘training up’ with some guidance from me. I tend to teach classic/eclectic.
The one thing I have steered clear of is seeking to determine his ‘level’ of talent through the standard of the society in which we live. This week I took my first step into exploring those options. I was able to take several classes and discuss with several experts the idea of gifted education. The first speaker was someone who understands from both an educational expert perspective as well as a home school parents perspective. She started telling the story of discovering her daughters talents and I felt she was telling my sons story. She understood! She was so curious about her daughters talents that she went back to college for a masters degree in gifted education. She had answers for me! She had advice for me, she understood what I’ve been dealing with. She was an answer to prayers.
I’ve learned that special needs children come in all kinds of forms. To teach a ‘gifted’ child means they have special needs that need to be met. While the type of need is different the need still exists. That being said they still need to 1. Learn the basics 2. Learn submission to authority and 3. Be given ample opportunity to explore the talents they possess.
I also learned that excessive repetition of a subject matter is not only not necessary for gifted learners it can in fact be detrimental. Because they understand and adapt quickly the repetition breeds frustration and eventually contempt for the subject. Rather than needing to continue climbing to the next level they instead need to be stretched outward in all directions by exploring more information about a subject that is outside the typical scope. In doing this the climbing up will naturally occur.
I was so encouraged to hear one speaker say, “God knows who your child is and what they can do. He placed them exactly where He wants them in order to meet these needs. You are able and where you are not able He will supply what is lacking.”
My brain is now overwhelmed with all the work that is before me to do. I was given information to explore, resources to look into and options to consider. I learned words like, Asynchrony, Differentiation and Emotional Intensity. I learned that amongst the population of gifted learners worldwide Emotional Intensity is normal and a part of personality trait as opposed to a chemical or neurological deficiency that needs to be medicated. It’s who they are not something they are missing.
This years convention has been completely worth the exhaustion I am feeling today. God has been good and mindful to answer my many prayers.
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