Connie Gordon has twenty years classroom experience working in the field of gifted education, and is the founder of Scholaris Gifted Academy. Under the guidance of Sharon Gerleman, Connie has developed and taught graduate level classes in gifted education and has designed adjunct programs specifically for gifted learners.
Parents and/or educators may not think a child is gifted if they are not receiving good grades. Underachievement describes a discrepancy between a student’s performance and his actual ability. The roots of this problem differ, based on each child’s experiences. Gifted students may become bored or frustrated in an unchallenging classroom situation causing them to lose interest, learn bad study habits, or distrust the school environment. Other students may mask their abilities to try to fit in socially with their same-age peers. No matter the cause, it is imperative that a caring and perceptive adult help gifted learners break the cycle of underachievement in order to achieve their full potential. We will be discussing Underachieving Gifted Learners at our next parent meeting on Wednesday, April 23, from 6-8PM at Fiddleheads in Mequon.
Parents often ask; how do I know if my child is gifted? A good starting place is to first understand giftedness, which you can read about in my blog last week here.
The quick response is that there is, as yet, no universally agreed upon answer to this question. Type in a quick Google search to define “giftedness” and you will find a plethora of answers and opinions, many of which are referenced in this blog. Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts and may look different in different contexts and cultures. Some professionals define "gifted" as an intelligence test score above 130, two or more standard deviations above the norm, or the top 2%. Others define "gifted" based on scholastic achievement: a gifted child works 2 or more grade levels above his or her age. Still others see giftedness as prodigious accomplishment: adult-level work while chronologically a child. These are far from the only definitions, yet most definitions agree: gifted children are a population who have different educational needs, thanks to their unique intellectual development.
The students at Scholaris Gifted Academy are still basking in the success of their first annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser! We definitely have some entrepreneurs and dedicated students at SGA. These young scholars sought out and collected donations, created the advertising and oversaw the marketing of the event, made and sold beautiful bracelets, wired the event with an awesome sound system, designed and manged carnival games, politely served beverages, carefully reset tables, researched and taste tested the "best" pancake recipe, and followed up with personal notes of thanks to all those who donated items. They are all an inspiration to the staff and they are the reason SGA exists.