Category Archives: Mentoring

Meeting the Needs of GT Students at the Secondary Level

gtchat 07182017 Secondary

In many school districts, the end of elementary school also signals the end of gifted programming as well. However, giftedness has been documented as existing across the lifespan. Mistakenly, too many in education have been slow to realize the significance of this or ignore it altogether.

What are the main obstacles to continuing GT programming at the secondary level? Most secondary GT programs are fed through existing primary programs; poor identification and lack of options weaken viability. GT programming must be supported by strong advocacy from faculty and administrators; sadly, something too often missing. Secondary scheduling, too, can be difficult for any student when so many factors are involved – available classes, faculty and facilities.

There are some innovative ways to include gifted classes in middle and high schools. Innovation needs to be based on acceptance that gifted classes should be demonstrably different from general education. Middle and high school GT classes reap the greatest benefit in standalone programming; both academically and social-emotionally.

How do you approach middle/high school students who weren’t challenged at elementary level? Teachers and parents shouldn’t shy away from providing remedial   or special skills classes to catch up GT students in specific areas. Professional development should be offered to teachers on identifying underachievers and/or 2E students.

What gets included in a GT student’s schedule should balance academics with passions; including the Arts. Students, parents and school personnel can make the best decisions when lines of communication are fully open.

Academic competitions can supplement a GT student’s schedule, but shouldn’t be considered a replacement. Many GT students love and thrive in academic competitions with intellectual peers; but it isn’t GT programming. For some of these students who lack a competitive spirit, it isn’t an answer at all.

Mentorships, internships and research projects can enhance GT programming, but not sufficient as standalone options. GT HS students should be engaged in college-level pursuits with adequate supports to ensure success. A transcript of the chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Uppervention: Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students

Meeting Needs of G&T Students: Case Study of Virtual Learning Lab in Rural Middle School (pdf)

Services for Secondary Students Who are Gifted Questions & Answers (pdf)

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners

Mentorship & Gifted Youth

The Myth of Gifted Curriculum: Rethinking Bloom’s Taxonomy (p. 6, pdf)

UK: Policy for Meeting the Needs of the Most Able, Gifted & Talented Boys (pdf)

Meeting the Needs of Gifted & Talented Students (Book Depository)

Attitudes of AP Teachers Meeting 21st Century Critical Thinking Needs of GT Secondary Students (pdf)

AP & IB Programs: A “Fit” for Gifted Learners?

2 Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Sacrificing Needs of GT Ss Doesn’t Solve Society’s Unsolved Problems (pdf)

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide

How Are Districts Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students?

TX: GT Teacher Toolkit II Resources for teachers of G/T, AP and Pre-AP Classes

Placement in Talent Development (2000)

UT High School Professional Development

Cybraryman’s Multiple Intelligences and Multipotentiality Page

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Do you have a Book to Share?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.


“Smart Girls” with author, Dr. @RobynMcKay

gtchat 10302015 Smart Girls


This week we were joined by Dr. Robyn McKay, co-author of Smart Girls and founder of the website ‘She{ology}’. The discussion centered around smart girls – how they are viewed by society, barriers they face and strategies to use to become successful.

It was quickly pointed out that smart girls often don’t fit society’s image of ‘smart’; nor do they always meet a particular school’s image of ‘smart’. Robyn explained, “Smart girls are often too well-adjusted for their own good. Like chameleons, they adapt and fit in instead of stand out. They begin to hide ability by grade 5. They stop raising their hands in class and whisper the answer to their bff instead.  The trend of hiding ability continues thru high school, college, and their professional life [in adulthood].”

Mental health issues can arise for smart girls. Robyn told us, ” They are good at masking disabilities like anxiety, depression, and ADHD (inattentive type). They mask because they CAN.  Smart girls use their intellectual resources to fit in and manage their disabilities. Just think how creative twice-exceptional smart girls could be if they didn’t have to work so hard to mask anxiety depression or ADHD.”

Next we considered what it meant to be smart and a girl in today’s world. Robyn said, “Intellectually able women often discount their intellect and credit hard work and luck to their success. They often don’t believe that they are smart. Although smart woman are able to juggle many responsibilities and have it all, this can also lead to burn out and early exit from careers.” Add to this that attempts to define ‘smart’ for women have been colored by ideas of gender, race and culture.

“We need to educate all students about gender disparities, inequalities in life and empower them to not just overcome but challenge them.” ~ Tyler Murphy, Kentucky educator

In the book Smart Girls, Dr. McKay and co-author Dr. Barbara Kerr made it a point to leave out definitions of giftedness that include sensitivities, intensities, or overexcitabilities as they focused on talent development. We ask Robyn to clarify this approach. Her response was, “Research has not linked overexcitabilities, intensities or sensitivities to academic achievement, high performance at work, or life satisfaction – the predictions we were interested in. Focus on OE sensitivity or intensity can cause us to pathologize giftedness; to make it seem as if strong, even maladaptive, reactions are a sign of giftedness rather than a sign of a very frustrated, bored or troubled child.”

Then we turned our attention to the barriers smart girls face in having their intelligence recognized. Previous flawed research assumed women could not achieve eminence. Barriers to recognition of intelligence can include environment, race, appearance and privilege. Robyn noted, “Gifted underachievers – who don’t “look gifted” because they don’t get As in every class are often overlooked. Creative girls with uneven performance in school are over looked – get As in the classes they love and and Cs and Ds in the classes that bore them and fail the classes they hate.” Furthermore, Robyn told us, “Smart girls need to know: what’s her IQ? What’s her personality profile? These help her understand why she is the way she is. Armed with data, her self-esteem rises.”

Finally, what are some strategies smart girls can use to succeed in the 21st century? Don’t allow society’s views dissuade your ambition – work toward your passions. For young gifted girls, encourage imaginative play, a healthy diet and adequate sleep. Encourage choices that help girls fulfill their dreams; realize their ‘future self’.

Robyn offered this advice to smart girls, “Don’t date “potential” – don’t date people who aren’t chasing their own goals and dreams. Make career decisions based on your creative flow and strengths. Say “yes” to new experiences. Get support for your mental health. Anxiety, depression, eating disorders keep you from living your dreams. Get As in the classes you love and Bs in everything else. You don’t have to be perfect.”

Transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays Noon NZDT/10 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Smart Girls in the 21st Century: Understanding Talented Girls & Women (Amazon)

Gifted Parenting Support: Smart Girls in the 21st Century

Smart Girls Takes Silver in the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Awards

Celebrating Smart Girls in the 21st Century with Dr. Barbara Kerr at The Psychology Podcast

Reviews for Smart Girls in the 21st Century

Dr. Robyn McKay’s Website ‘she{ology}’

About Dr. Robyn McKay

When Intensity Goes to School: Overexcitabilities, Creativity and the Gifted Child (Google Books Preview)

Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement and College Culture (Amazon)

Gifted Girls – Many Gifted Girls, Few Eminent Women: Why? (pdf)

Gifted Women: Identity & Expression

Harnessing Gifted Girls’ Emotional Strengths

What About Gifted Girls

Gender and Genius

Gender Identity and the Overexcitability Profiles of Gifted College Students (pdf)

The Effect of Gender-Role Stereotyping on the Career Aspirations and Expectations of Pre-Adolescent Children of High Intellectual Ability (pdf 1967)

The Intersection of Gender Equity and Gifted Elementary Education: Does Numerical Parity Tell the Whole Story (pdf)

Why Women Still Can’t Have It All

A Mighty Girl (website)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Mentoring Gifted Learners

file000729042698Photo Courtesy: morgueFile

At this week’s chat, we discussed the benefits of mentoring gifted learners, where to look for mentors and how to set up a mentoring program. It was agreed that mentoring in general is good for gifted learners including peer to peer mentorships. A full transcript may be found here.


Mentor Relationships and Gifted Learners (1990)

Mentoring the Gifted

Mentoring: An Educational Alternative for Gifted Students

UConn Mentor Connection: A Real-World Experience! July 6 – 25, 2014

Finding a Mentor for your Gifted Child

Extending Learning Through Mentorships (pdf) 

Mentoring of Gifted or High-Potential (Victoria, Aus)

ASPIRE High School Mentoring Program at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

UK: University of Hertfordshire Gifted & Talented eMentoring 

Connecting Gifted Students to Highly Successful Peers from PrufrockPress

Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education Mentoring Scheme 2013/2014

Mentor for the Highly Gifted Handbook (pdf)

Mentoring the Gifted from

NZ: The Good Ship Mentor (website)

Mentorships A Guide Book (pdf)

AUS: Setting Up a Mentoring Program (pdf)

The Virtual Scientist Guest Lecture Series

The Value of a Mentor from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Irving ISD “Gifted & Talented Independent Study Mentorship Presentation” (video)

University of Melbourne: Visions ~ Mentoring Giftedness (video)

“Wilson White Speaks about Internships & Mentorship” (video) 

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