I am currently reading a book entitled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind by Deborah L. Ruf. It is a truly fascinating book that is talking about some of the more typical characteristics and needs of children with different levels of giftedness. The author has divided these students into five levels of giftedness. Level one begins in roughly the 95 - 98th percentile with IQs from approximately 120 - 135. Level four and five are in the 99% percentile and are the true prodigies of our world. I'm reading this as my bedtime reading, so I'm taking my time processing all the information in it. I'm amazed at some of the differences exhibited by children at different levels of giftedness. As a GT teacher, I see it all the time, but I am realizing a little bit more about my own children and my students. Now I just have to figure out how to apply it so that I can better honor and reach those students who are so bright that my classes simply do not have enough meat to engage.
I am left with three main thoughts.
First, how do I adapt what I am learning to my classroom so that I can best reach ALL my students?
Second, I feel bad for all the students who have walked through my class and learned almost nothing because I just didn't know how to reach them (and probably because by the time they reached me in the 7th grade, they'd already given up on school.)
Third, If I'm going to keep up with all this reading and research, shouldn't I be getting a grade, a degree and a salary for it?
I'm light-hearted about it, but I'm seriously wishing I had the time and money to devote to that pursuit right now. But then where would I focus my energy? Second language acquisition? Pedagogy? Gifted? An amalgam of the three? I put in a phone call to a local university today that will let me design my own grad program... wish I may, wish I might...
And with this train of thought is the part of my own personality that is often mistaken by others - that is my passion. When I get truly interested in a topic, like I have this year with TPRS and the GT research, others often think I am upset or overbearing because it becomes a central focus of my life. I light-up, even at conferences, it's like I can suddenly see so far. I got like that at the CCFLT conference this spring. I was talking to these people whose books I have read, and I got so excited, I'm sure I sounded like a freak LOL
Oh well, we'll see where this goes. It's not like I have anything else on my plate these days (husband in a grad program, two toddlers, possibly moving, etc.)
5 hours ago