"It’s enjoyable to be around people who love learning as much as you do," Jason says. "It challenges you to do better."
Jason Chu, Davidson Fellow Laureate and Graduate of the Charter School of Wilmington
-Genius Denied, p. 132
How can I connect with others who think and learn like I do?
Your interests and propensity to think and learn differently may make it challenging to connect with other people your age.Let go of worrying about only having friends your own age and branch out. Join local clubs, take community education classes, volunteer, and/or seeking out other organizations where you will meet others who share your interests. Summer programs for gifted students also provide a unique opportunity to meet others who think and learn like you do. Search the Davidson Database for summer programs and other opportunities to meet people with similar interests.
How can I make school less boring?
Chances are, you like to learn, but find school assignments repetitive and under-challenging. We suggest that you begin by sharing your concern with your parents. Don’t complain; be factual and offer solutions. Ask them to join you in approaching your teachers. If your parents are unable or unwilling to do so, approach your teachers yourself. Ask them if there is some way you can demonstrate that you have already mastered the material and then suggest an alternate project or assignment that would be a better fit for you. Remember the three P’s – positive, persistent and proactive. There is nothing wrong with taking responsibility for your learning.
How do I find a mentor?
The first step in finding a mentor is to evaluate what you hope to gain from a mentoring experience.The most productive mentoring relationships are those that are focused on a specific outcome, such as the completion of a project.Once you know what you want to learn, put together a query package that contains a short biography, a description of the project you wish to pursue and a summary of what you already know about the particular topic. Next, create a list of knowledgeable individuals. Universities and colleges are a good place to start, as are museums and science centers. Don’t forget about local businesses, retired professionals, and high school teachers. Tele-mentoring is another option you may want to consider. The National Mentoring Partnership maybe a useful resource.
As a gifted student, you have more influence in your school and community than you may realize. By thoughtfully communicating your needs and desires for an appropriate education, you can help make school a better place to learn.
-Excerpted from Genius Denied, pp. 175-177, with minor modification in content and links added.
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Cohen, L.M., Frydenburg, E., Coping for capable kids. Prufrock Press, Inc.
Covey, S., The 7 habits of highly effective teens. Simon and Schuster.
Delisle, J., Gifted kids speak out: Hundreds of kids ages 6-13 talk about school, friends, their families, and the future. Free Spirit Publishing.
Delisle, J. & Galbraith, J., The gifted teen survival guide. Free Spirit Publishing.
Ellis, D., Becoming a master student. Houghton Mifflin Co.
Galbraith, J. & Espeland, P., The gifted kids’ survival guide for ages 10 & under. Free Spirit Publishing.
Hipp, E., Fighting invisible tigers: A stress management guide for teens. Free Spirit Publishing Inc.
McCutcheon, R. & Wagner, P., Get off my brain. Free Spirit Publishing.
Rimm, S., See Jane win for girls. Three Rivers Press.
Romain, T. & Verdick E., How to do homework without throwing up. Free Spirit Publishing.
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.
The appearance of any information in the Davidson Institute's Database does not imply an endorsement by, or any affiliation with, the Davidson Institute. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is solely the opinion of and the responsibility of the author. Although reasonable effort is made to present accurate information, the Davidson Institute makes no guarantees of any kind, including as to accuracy or completeness. Use of such information is at the sole risk of the reader.