Because they seem so self-sufficient, gifted students often get lost in the shuffle at school. And consequently, some of those great minds go to waste. Successful schools have flexible teachers and administrators who take the educational problems of these students seriously and create solutions. Once a plan is in place, it's essential to develop a partnership with the gifted child's parents.
Parents provide valuable information about a child's abilities and needs, and should be consulted in planning any educational programs. No matter what the intervention plan is for the gifted students (i.e. subject acceleration, grade acceleration, pull-out program, independent study, curriculum compacting) educators and parents together must evaluate if it's the appropriate intervention.
Parents need understanding. They are raising an exceptional child. While having a gifted child may seem like a good problem to have, it's still a problem. Providing for that child's needs can be stressful and exhausting. Be patient, offer support when possible, and realize that you're all in this together.
For educators working with gifted students and their parents:
If parents trust that you have their child's best interest at heart, they are more likely to work with you. Check in with them often. Let them feel welcome in your office or classroom. Prepare yourself, and always remember to ask their opinion. As a team, you can be more effective in the education of bright students.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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