Gifted, but Not Equal

The reason I began this blog, The ABC’s of GT, was to advocate for gifted children and to share information, insights , and resources with parents, teachers, and the world.  Meeting the needs of this underserved population is my passion. I want the world to know that if you’ve met one gifted child, you’ve met one gifted child. They are an extremely diverse group of children. Each one of them has different needs, strengths, weaknesses, abilities, motivation, feelings, beliefs…

As I thought about writing about advocacy, this poem began to take shape in my  mind:

A is for Advocate!

Don’t put them in a box
Discover what each needs
Ask, listen, and understand
Strive to be their advocate

Some search for identity
Many are misunderstood
Others know who they are
All deserve to be valued

Some are intellectual
Many are subject specific
Others creatively expressive
All deserve to be nurtured

Some are perfectionistic
Many learn the game
Others underachieve
All deserve to be challenged

Some struggle with subjects
Many are unhappy in school
Others go with the flow
All deserve attention

Some can’t control emotions
Many learn to hide them
Others are confused
All deserve to be heard

Some are loud and abrasive
Many are quite compliant
Others are fading fast
All deserve compassion

Some think deeply, deeply, deep
Many hold untapped potential
Others are wildly innovative
All can change the world

Don’t put them in a box
Discover what each needs
Ask, listen, and understand
Strive to be their advocate

The best, easiest, and most efficient way to discover the needs, wants, and thoughts of a gifted child is to ASK THEM! Check in with them on a regular basis. I have conferences coming next week the parents of my middle and high school gifted students. Each parent received an email with a request from me to discuss the following four questions with their child prior to meeting with me:

1. Which subjects or things is your child enjoying this school year?                                                           2. Which classes does he/she feel are challenging? Which could be more challenging?             3. Is your child happy socially/emotionally?
4. Does your child have any ideas on how his/her experiences in school could be

The answers to these questions will become discussion points in our conferences. I plan to use the information, not only to advocate for these kids, but also to encourage the students themselves to become self-advocates, who are able to define what they need and appropriately seek out opportunities to grow.

I always learn the most from talking with my students about how they feel and how they are doing in classes. This is not to say that they are always going to get everything they want. However, it is extremely valuable to show these students that their opinions matter. I may not always agree with them, but all conversations have led to informative discussions that result in better understanding and increased empathy on both sides. I find these talks to be simple to execute, yet invaluable to the growth and well-being of these children.

Do you want to know how best to meet the needs of your gifted children? ASK THEM!





One thought on “Gifted, but Not Equal

  1. SHeri,

    Love this! So simple–just ask them!!! Sometimes we forget to communicate directly and that children know what they need! Thanks for the reminder and “permission” to just ask!


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