Hiddengifted’s Blog

Welcome to School

Posted on: October 12, 2009

“Girls often face a range of social pressures in schools, causing them to shift priorities… in school, the desire for friends, a disinclination to stand out, fear of ridicule, along with the need for acceptance, often impel gifted girls to make their abilities appear ordinary or even nonexistent. One parent observed: ‘My daughter has become very, very shy and doesn’t want to stand out in any way. As a result, she’s reluctant to express information that would indicate that she knows anything beyond what’s asked of her.’” (Joan Franklin Smutny, Open Space Communications, Understanding Our Gifted, Winter 1999 Volume 11 No. 2 pp. 9-13)

For some gifted girls, a one-on-one tutorship with the teacher may be just what they need. In a room with only the student and teacher, a gifted girl may be more open to asking questions. If her friends are around, she might otherwise get teased for “being smart”.
Try giving gifted students some time to be creative in their classes. If they have the chance to do their own thing, they’ll be much more interested in the class itself. Besides, if there’s a dozen different ways to learn the same idea, you’ll reach all of the different learning forms.
Each student has their own, unique style that they like to input information. Usually, they can be put into three different categories: Auditory Learners, Visual Learners, and Kinesthetic Learners. Simply put, they learn by listening, watching, or doing. All of these can be challenges to suffice, but each student will get more out of their classes, and connect better with the subjects.

Recently there was an act passed through Congress, called the No Child Left Behind Act. The No Child Left Behind Act determines that the schools should teach towards the intelligence levels of their “low performing” students. An article in the Washington Post put it this way:

“These parents are fleeing public schools not only because, as documented by a recent University of Chicago study, the act pushes teachers to ignore high-ability students through its exclusive focus on bringing students to minimum proficiency. Worse than this benign neglect, No Child forces a fundamental educational approach so inappropriate for high-ability students that it destroys their interest in learning, as school becomes an endless chain of basic lessons aimed at low-performing students.”

Isn’t that lovely?

TIP: Students often talk among themselves about their teachers. They gripe and moan, but they also rave. Can you imagine being the teacher that everyone wants to get?

More than anything, gifted girls just want someone to understand. They want someone who will see the person they’re hiding and do whatever they can to bring the hidden identity to the light and make them feel okay. They want to feel special and secure, not out floating on air, by themselves, alone.
Alone.
It’s not a happy word, is it?
Many, many girls know the feeling. The one that steals over them like dread, that whispers lies about who they are. The venomous monster who laughs at their futile efforts to be themselves in a world where no one seems to care.
Ah, yes. I remember it well. I’ve been there. I’m home schooled, so it hasn’t been as bad as some students. But I’ve had my days, where I’ve burrowed so deep into myself that I can’t see the affection given to me. When someone spoke to me, it felt like they were throwing me a bone, that they were doing me a favor just by looking at me. I was tired and fatigued with the world, and wanted to sleep away the days, months, years.
I hated it so much!
It felt like prison. I don’t want anyone else to go there, or feel the way I did. It’s not necessary, and it can be avoided. But it requires careful attention on the part of the adults, and the friends of any gifted girl. When they get into a rut like that, all one can do is build them up again, until they feel all right with themselves again.
Just love them. Be there for them. Sooner or later- it may be years, but they will- they’ll pull through.

Girls often look up to older girls or women as role examples, and try to be like them. Perhaps it’s someone they’re close to, maybe it’s someone they’ve heard a lot about. They might go to this person for advice, or when it’s time to split up into different groups, go directly toward this person.
I remember trying to find someone to do this for me, and I ended up bouncing around from person to person until I didn’t need one at all. Of course, I look up to my parents and other people, but I don’t have just one “someone” that I rely on for everything. Some girls, like me, gave up on finding one solitary person because no one that we found “worked out”.

So there are a lot of things that gifted girls need. They’re very different from normal girls in the way they think, act and the ideas they have about the world. They have a strong feel for how things should be, but when people don’t listen, they break down and hide. They are very focused, and when they think that no one notices them or their feelings, they get very upset. That’s why a number of gifted girls cannot be found in the schools anymore. They mirror the girls around them, and become normal.
Another thing that people don’t often see: gifted girls are incredibly perceptive. The only thing they don’t notice is that it’s okay to be who they are, or feel the amount of encouragement. Instead, they slide into the ways of the world and cheer on the boys and men as they play the game of life. They are very fragile, and need to be built up perpetually to remind them how special they are compared to the other girls and boys out there.

These are only some of the needs of a gifted girl.

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1 Response to "Welcome to School"

I suppose I was the smart one in high school and then again in college……it’s not all that fun being labeled as “the smart one” in school.

Raven
http://cherokeebydesign.wordpress.com/

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  • cherokeebydesign: I suppose I was the smart one in high school and then again in college......it's not all that fun being labeled as "the smart one" in school. Raven
  • cherokeebydesign: There's nothing wrong with having a life that is planned, and there's nothing wrong with wanting perfection. I use to be that way....until I started

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