Not only is vague praise less useful than a specific compliment, but combined with easy tasks, it can even be damaging to students’ belief in their abilities.
The wise teacher knows how hard to push her class and when to ease up, because self control is a limited resource for everyone.
This comic highlights an additionally unfortunate issue high-energy kids suffer from: they’re physically active, yet may not be particularly interested in sports.
To understand how giftedness and physical energy are connected, stop picturing a fidgety kid interrupting the class. Instead imagine him deeply engrossed in his favorite activity.
It’s so easy to assume gifted kids will be the academic leaders in a classroom. Beacons of light for the other kids to follow. Dina Brulles and Susan Winebrenner explain the problem…
The obvious benefit of gifted students’ increased sensitivity is that they learn faster, since they pick up on so much more. But this sensitivity also has a dark side: turning our kids into anxious worriers.
Multipotentiality is a fancy way of saying “good at many things.” It’s a defining trait of gifted kids, and you’ve probably seen it in action: a student writes beautifully, has mastered a musical instrument, excels in math, and still gets picked near the top in PE. Yet, this trait is one of the Eight Great Gripes of gifted kids.
Fitting in only gets you so far.
As a 6th grade teacher, I would see students give up just as things became difficult. Because of their natural intelligence, they could succeed without putting in the work that their peers were learning to do. So I introduced a motto.
As a kid, I read Calvin and Hobbes religiously, checking out collections from the library and cutting out favorites from the newspaper. Now, I read these same comics and see Calvin in a different light: an example of all of the unexpected traits of gifted students.