Friday, June 15, 2012

Lessons I Learned from Gifted Kids

What Lucy Taught Me

Many of my first lessons about teaching gifted kids came through my work with Lucy, a brilliant child with talents in many areas, but a true passion for math. For instance, as a 5th grader she answered all the ACT geometry questions correctly because, as she said, "It just makes sense."

We worked hard together over her public school years to make sure she had appropriate challenges, enrichment, and socio-emotional support.  Subject accelerated many times, she took courses at the local college while still in high school and finished her degree at a very prestigious university in record time.  But instead of accepting one of the fellowships or great job offers, she married her college sweetheart and chose to be a stay-at-home mom.

Some might find that disappointing.  I find it refreshing.  She followed her heart, not others' expectations.  She continues to learn, to grapple with ideas, to make the world a better place and to share her brilliance in many ways with those around her.  

I'm reminded of this quote from Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges.

“We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and 'success', defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment