In education, traditional gifted students are sometimes identified as “low maintenance.” The thinking is that they are “so smart” they don’t need much help. These students can get their work done and done well on their own, so teachers can concentrate on the students with larger academic needs.
At LEADPrep, we know that each student has gifts and all students need to be challenged no matter how “smart” they are considered. Micro-schools are uniquely able to work with gifted children in a way that challenges and supports them where they need it most. We don’t assume that smarts means strong executive functioning or ability to independently put all the pieces of learning in place.
Our flipped learning framework allows for simple content to be sent home and active learning of higher-level thinking to be supported at school. Teachers become the guides focusing on the individual needs of students. The pace of learning, for all students, is tailored to their personal needs within the course topic/theme. Some gifted learners are comfortable at a very fast pace of learning which can be accomodated, while others need a slower pace than their peers so they can achieve the depth or breadth of understanding that satisfies their big appetite for “knowing.”
Social situations can sometimes be challenging for gifted students, if their ability to recognize social cues is not as developed. Teachers can orchestrate learning in ways foster enhanced communication and develop skills for students who find social situations difficult.
Gifted learners are frequently looking for a higher degree of difficulty in their work than many students their age. Often their content, processes, and products will be more complex or sophisticated. Teachers can meet this need with ease in group and individual projects.
Our teachers are also aware that gifted students may have been allowed to “coast” in a world that the students have not always found as challenging as they might have hoped. Teachers are able to challenge students to take risks that supports their growth and success. Students also are supported in learning to deal with an occasional “failure” which is a vital life skill. Reaching every student–”gifted” included–is an important goal at LEADPrep!