Some may wonder why we would even have to consider teaching persistence to gifted students; but, in fact, many characteristics of gifted children can actually contribute to a lack of persistence. If not challenged early on, gifted students never learn persistence because they don’t have to in the elementary years. When the work does get challenging in later years, they begin to question their own ability.
The role of ‘frustration tolerance’ can come into play for a gifted student. Many gifted students lack the ability to tolerate being frustrated in the face of challenge. they need to learn and understand how to put some space between a challenge and how to respond.
Perfectionism also affects some gifted students who seem to lack persistence. Coping with wanting everything to always be perfect may cause a child to give up if they can’t achieve perfection. The idea of seeing something through that isn’t their ‘best’ may seem impossible; which is where the teacher comes in. As Carol Bainbridge told us, “Fear of imperfection is paralyzing to some gt kids. Better to not try at all than to try and not be perfect.”
Scaffolding can be used to help the student who is struggling with persistence. Simply supporting a child in knowing where ‘to start’ can lead many to succeed. Gifted children are not gifted in all subjects; individual attention to support weaknesses is a good start.
What are some coping skills students need to meet life’s challenges and adversity? Gifted students need to realize the importance of their ability to think; to problem solve; to figure things out. They can use self-talk to remove negative thoughts and begin to believe in themselves and abilities.
Parents and teachers can help gifted students have a realistic understanding of their own abilities.Parents must first have realistic expectations of their child and understand that they may not excel in all areas. Teachers can nurture a child to understand what they are good at and how to develop their talent. A transcript of this 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 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Week: 5 Ways Gifted Students Learn Differently (tiered subscription)
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Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.