Gifted Education questions

Why is it that our gifted kids get shuffled off to the back of the educational process?  Even worse, why are our high potential kids behind them?  Two things I learned about high potential (kids who are extraordinarily bright but don’t qualify for gifted services) and gifted (usually IQ of 130 or above) are 1.  Don’t just add more work to their lives  2.  No busy work!  But almost everywhere I look (not toward you, Dennis), gifted ed (ge) is exactly that.  I’m not targeting any school in particular, but it’s such a fight to get quality education for these kids.  They’re considered independent workers, so they’re often just left to fend for themselves, especially in this age, when low scores require so much of teachers.

 I have a hard time juggling how much is too much work for them–I want them to be challenged, but not just dump stuff on them.  But then they need to practice that work, too, as well as maintain the skills they’ve already mastered.  So sometimes it’s more work–2 of a project instead of 1, an extra page of homework.  Sometimes it’s alternative work…a small group with me or practicing something I’ve already taught them while the rest of the class works on another skill.  Sometimes it’s just keeping them with the rest of the class to be sure I don’t leave any “holes” in their knowledge.  I make sure I go to their meetings to give input.  

I consider part of this my job.  I’m definitely not the best at this, but I try.  Why isn’t this the norm?  So many parents out there fighting for quality programming, but met with a high amount of resistance with so many budget cuts.  Why is our government not behind these kids–pushing them forward?  They’ve basically said, “Hey, they’re already there, so focus on the ones who are behind.”  Why can’t it be an equal focus?  Who’s going to run our country in 20 years?  Really, peeps, in 10 years, my 2nd graders will be 28 years old.  They’ll be gearing up to take over leadership positions.  How old will you be?  

I believe all kids can learn.  I believe my job is to provide quality instruction to every child, no matter what his/her level is.  Our gifted kids should not be teaching others in their class or other classes as a regular “instructional strategy.”  They shouldn’t be delegated to a “classroom” formerly known as a closet.  They shouldn’t be told that their service time is expendable.  They shouldn’t be expected to do the same work their class did–or worse, miss key instruction–if they are pulled out.  What will it take to make this country recognize the damage it is doing to our high-achieving kids?

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