I grew up going through all the TAG classes (Talented and Gifted), and I didn't think much about it. Now I teach at a school for Gifted and Talented students. I still never really put much thought into it until this year. It has never struck me as anything that special or different, maybe because it has always been a part of who I am. In school my thoughts about being gifted mostly revolved around how different I seemed to be from my peers. (I was the geek who only had friends when science labs were due.)
Now I have a toddler who blows my socks off. He comes up with the most amazing things I have ever heard. For instance, he called a two-litre bottle of soda a "soda can't" Why? Because it was not a "soda can." He uses the word entity in sentences. He pretends to be a pigmy marmoset. He dictates amazing, elaborate stories to me. And I worry. What will school do to him?
Here I am, a teacher, and I worry about the future for my 3 year old. Because already he is bored with pre-school and won't answer questions he thinks are stupid or boring. Or he answers them incorrectly.
I don't want him to shut down in school. I don't want school to kill this sense of wonder he has about life, or the creativity he has with words and learning.
All of that is to lead into WHY I have recently been reading so much more about gifted education and right-brained students. Even in a population that is entirely gifted, we still have a bell curve. Some of my students have IQs near 150, and they don't learn the same as the students whos IQs are closer to 125. (I hate IQ tests, btw, but that's another rant.) And I realized, thinking about my own son getting left behind and shutting down, that I have students who are exactly the same. Even though they go to a school for the gifted and talented, their needs are still not being met.
I firmly believe that TPR and TPRS are the BEST ways to teach a foreign language to right-brained, gifted students. There is NO comparison. But, I'm trying to figure out how to reach all of my students, so none of them leave my classroom thinking that foreign language and even school are not for them.
I wonder how many people realize that the higher a person's IQ, the more likely they are to drop out of school? I run into this attitude sometimes that it's great that a person is smart, but they don't need any special options, classes, etc. As if being smart were all there is to getting by in the world, and once you reach a certain IQ then everybody else is equal. As if smart people aren't at risk.
3 days ago