In class, a child suddenly explodes at another for making a clicking pencil sound, a student shuts down for the day after making an error while presenting, a distant natural disaster effects children’s moods. As a teacher, this layer of complex sensitivity builds on your already difficult job of tracking academic progress. To be effective, you must also navigate this emotional minefield.
We know gifted students are far more complex than their test scores might suggest. And while we might expect certain quirks, others blindside us: a strange reaction to sound, a sudden outburst of tears, or a need to stand up at inopportune times. Dabrowski’s five overexcitabilities provide some insight into these unexpected moments.
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.
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.
This comic highlights an additionally unfortunate issue high-energy kids suffer from: they’re physically active, yet may not be particularly interested in sports.
If you’re wondering what an “intellectual overexcitability” might look like, here’s me in kindergarten…
Here’s a list of interesting items to help intense students in a classroom setting. Fidgety tools, special sets, and even ear plugs!