We have had the discussion about educating gifted children before. We all realize that much more focus is placed on struggling children than those who are well beyond exceeding. Most teachers are threatened by intelligent students and have no idea how to take them beyond their level. Those that do know how are not willing to put in the extra time of planning.
Today I want to stay clear of the word gifted. Some children are smart but not gifted. Just because a child is intelligent and may function higher than the standards set for his or her grade level does not mean that the child can be labeled as gifted.
Some children are simply above their level.
I get so tired of hearing that teachers do not know what to do with this “smart” child who already knows it all. The teacher considers moving the child to the next grade.
I am totally against this in most situations. Some children can be academically ready but not socially or maturely. If the child is not ready in every sense, the move may actually force the child backwards.
Another issue that I see is that a few teachers are big pushers. The children are pushed to their highest potential one year and then the next year the teacher settles for the minimum. We have actually seen the test scores of above average students drop from one year to the next. The children actually lose information and knowledge when they move up to the next level.
The majority of the teachers are stuck in the teach what is required mode. They expect the children to function at the level in which they are teaching. They do not feel that other information should be introduced.
It is very easy for teachers to reach these above average children each and everyday. It can be done. I plan to address how in my next article!