Being gifted is more than just being “smart”. Yes, gifted students can be fast learners. Yes, gifted children can grasp skills beyond those comprehended by their peers. However, gifted students can also lack certain skills, struggle in some subjects, and even fail to perform well academically. This is because being a gifted student is not simply defined by performance.
Parents always want to see the best in their children, so it can be easy to assume that since your child earns good grades this means that they are gifted. While your child may be advanced or high achieving, getting good grades actually has very little to do with whether or not your child is gifted.
What is a gifted student?
A gifted student is such because of their cognitive abilities; the way that their brain processes information. Any student is capable of working hard and earning good grades. The distinction for gifted children lies within their IQ and the way that they process information. This is why it’s important to identify and provide appropriate services for gifted children. Florida’s definition of a gifted student mentions that students are capable of high performance. This is because some gifted children can be underperforming in the classroom due to a variety of outside factors. Poverty, a lack of resources, a lack of parental support, boredom, these can all impacts a gifted child’s grades despite how well they are capable of performing.
Being Gifted Is A Special Need
Most people think that “special needs” refers to an individual with physical or mental handicaps that create a need for extra assistance in order to be as successful as their average peers. Despite being intelligent and capable of performing just as well as their peers, being gifted is a special need. This is because gifted children require special programs and attention in order to meet their full potential. They are not average and an average education simply will not suffice.
Sometimes, gifted students also have other exceptionalities which may mask their giftedness (making them appear average). Despite appearances, an average education will short change these students who are typically capable of learning at a faster pace and grasping concepts beyond their years. Identifying gifted students regardless of academic performance is vital in order to place them correctly and ensure that they’re adequately challenged.
Being gifted does not mean that they will not struggle and it doesn’t mean that they don’t need help and support. At St. Barnabas Episcopal School, we value the opportunity to provide all of our students with a rigorous, supportive learning environment that will help them meet their full potential. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a tour.