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Interview with Gifted Educator

The gifted educator states that she has been in the field of education for a total of 36 years with five years of this dedicated to the field of gifted education. She became interested in this field due to the faster pace of learning, as gifted students are more eager to learn and fewer discipline problems are encountered inside the classrooms. She states that the inquisitive nature of a gifted student is what she likes best in working with gifted students because these students are really interested in learning. Learning, for them, is not only a mere experience that they are doing because it is stated by the law.

Bouncing ideas and exchanging thoughts with them even on an elementary level is a learning experience not only for them but also for everyone involved in the process. Unfortunately, even the field of gifted education has its negative side. She states that some of the students have a difficult time accepting the fact that they are not always correct. They also experience difficulties in accepting constructive criticism. Compared with other average students on an emotional level, most gifted children that have been dealt with by the interviewee are gifted in only one or two areas.

Because of this, they face the same problem that other students encounter. They do have a problem accepting that they must struggle in some areas. Some of the students are very sensitive when they are told that they need to redo certain areas of the basic classes. A few of them can become a problem when it comes to discipline especially when they accomplish their activities very quickly and would have spare time to do other things. She indicates that she have found that students who have stable parents who have grounded the child with the reality outlook on life have far fewer emotional problems.

With regard to having their educational needs adequately addressed, she states that with all of the computers in the classroom and research material available to the students today, a teacher who is doing a decent job will provide various ways to meet the needs of all children. The internet has has given children more opportunities to go farther than what was possible in the past. In a regular class room, gifted children have provided great help to the students who have academic problems. Allowing a gifted child to work with an average student who is having trouble with his or her schoolwork demonstrates two things.

It helps the average student cope with school and can give the gifted child a greater understanding of the subject, as they need to think about the subject in a different way in order to explain it to the average student. Many gifted students have a thirst for knowledge so this type of situation stimulates their minds better. The main emotional issues of gifted students include the stress that they feel when they are being pushed too hard by their parents who use their gifted children to impress their friends. These students rebel by being underachievers.

Some can become perfectionists by pushing themselves too hard and not giving themselves a chance to relax and rest. The interviewee indicates that it has been her experience that suicide is not much of a problem with gifted students because suicide is a problem that has to do with the personality of the child. Many gifted children rebel against the social structure of school and home. They will run away, act out, or do anything that they think can displease the adults around them. She further believes that gifted children do analyze things differently than normal

children, stating that they over analyze things too much. She states that one of the most difficult test for them to pass is a true/false type of test because they tend to look for hidden clues that are simply not there. They also over analyze simple compliments until they become negatives. This is because they have deeper understanding of words and phrases; therefore, they experience difficulty accepting simple statements meant to be how it was said. She states that she has not experienced single gender classrooms with gifted children and therefore can not comment on this.

She says that not all gifted students obtain a higher education. In her experience, the family unit has a lot to do with this. If a child is not encouraged to attend a college or university, they will follow this. Others that are pushed too hard will rebel and not receive an education even if they are given every opportunity to do so. An environment where they are not supervised by their parents will make them “party animals. ” Still, others will continue to work as hard in college as they did in high school.

This issue has a lot to do with the personality of the child and the environment from which they come from. In a social setting with children of average intelligence, she indicates that children are children and gifted or not they want to be accepted by their peers. They will laugh at the class clown or at times become the class clown. The very last thing that a child wants is to be set aside as being different in any way. However, they do enjoy the extra perks that being in a “tag” program gives them. In the classroom, they do not emphasize that they are in the program.

From this interview, it can be seen that gifted students are not entirely different from average students as most people believe. Although they seem to have a deeper level of understanding, they are still human beings who know how to laugh, cry, and feel sad. They are only different because they see and understand things in a different way but they can still demonstrate the same abilities and emotions as most people do. Because of their special situation, it is important that the people around them understand what their needs are and provide the support to these gifted students.

They would be able to cope with their surroundings a lot faster and better when they are provided the support that they need. If they are misunderstood or stressed too much by their family and friends, it is more likely that they will rebel. “Children who are forced to comply against their own values about what is right for them can become depressed, defiant, generally oppositional, hostile, and can acquire long-term issues with authority” (Ruf, 2005, p. 248). Rebelling for them is either to act as if they do not know anything or do things that normal students do when they rebel.

Either way, rebelling only produces negative effects and will not give them the chance to enjoy their capabilities that other students do not possess. It is definitely not easy handling gifted students but this should not be seen as an obstacle. In contrast, it should be treated as a challenge and a learning experience not only by teachers and professors but also by family members because dealing with gifted children is a satisfying experience that should not be seen as a burden by anyone.

References

Ruf, D. L. (2005). Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind. Arizona: Great Potential Press, Inc.

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