How to Treat Gifted Students
Do you consider yourself to be a gifted person? No? You are mistaken. Everybody has a talent, but either parents or teachers may not have noticed it, and consequently it was hidden under a bushel. That means that mom and dad are the first to identify child’s knacks and hear his/her desires. Once it is done, the baton is passed to the teacher, who should encourage student’s talent or distinguish it if it hasn’t been done by parents.
How? Here are some helpful tips.
Recognize a gifted student
It is necessary to conduct a test aimed at identifying student’s IQ level to state that he/she is gifted. Although at first sight, talented students don’t differ from their peers, they are normally dressed, may have quite ordinary interests and like entertainments, but when it comes to study, their behavior makes them stand out from the herd.
Experienced teacher will inevitably notice a gifted student, since this is a person who demonstrates ability to manage multiple tasks rapidly, has well-developed abstract thinking and has a deep interest in particular subjects. How to help such student not lose his/her zest?
Employ individual approach
Working according to widely accepted national curriculum isn’t a motive to apply a one-size-fits-all approach. Although this is not within teacher’s power to change learning program, but it is quite possible to work out individual touch to every student.
You may easily suggest unique students do more complicated tasks thus encouraging the person to grow or to invent a task that will develop his/her abilities.
Introduce specific test assessment
Since a gifted person gets unique tasks, he/she should undergo different assessment, right? To implement this idea you don’t need to redesign already existing scale of grading. Just work out tests with specific grading (it may be percentage rating or grades from 1 to 10) you will give students at the end of the unit to see how their skills and knowledge progress. It is not necessary to separate a gifted student from their peers, you may attract all the class to take a test the results of which will tell you about academic progress of every student.
No mixed learning
Some teachers think that if two make a gifted student work with the one who have certain weak points, both will benefit. The first one will practice his/her skills and knowledge while the latter will improve academic performance. Wrong! Talented students are somewhat different, thus, they perceive, process and evaluate information not like others. Working with “weaker” students either over project or on any other subject, a gifted person is unlikely to have a positive experience.
Skipping a grade
This is a common practice applied for gifted students. It is also called acceleration, which means that a talented individual has skills and abilities that exceed his/her age.
Although a teacher together with parents should make sure that a student is not only mentally but also psychologically ready to be transferred to the class where everybody is older than he/she is.
To sum up, gifted students need special approach, which manifests itself not only in individual treatment in family, but also in equally talented teaching.
About the author: Janet Brown is an experienced teacher with teaching techniques elaborated to adjust to students’ specific needs. Besides her teaching practice, she works as freelance essay writer at a writing company, where she helps students to get their academic tasks perfectly done.