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Teaching Persistence to Gifted Students


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.

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:


Coping 101: Building Persistence & Resilience in Gifted Children

How to Support Gifted Students in Your Classroom

Ed Week: 5 Ways Gifted Students Learn Differently (tiered subscription)

Challenges Faced by “Gifted Learners” in School & Beyond

5 Teaching Strategies for Persistence, Stamina

Engaging Gifted Students in a Heterogeneous Classroom (pdf)

Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners

5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Unmotivated Students

Teaching Perseverance = Teaching Success

Motivating the Gifted but Reluctant Learner (pdf)

Gifted and Talented Students: Guidelines for Teachers (Slideshare)

AUS: Teaching Kids Persistence – Skills for Life

KEVA Planks: Build a Mind

Picture Books that Model Perseverance

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Developing Leadership Skills

This week’s chat began by defining exactly what leadership is and then the chat turned to teaching leadership skills in school for gifted students. Opportunities outside of school were also discussed. A full transcript available.

Leadership by one definition is the exceptional capability or potential to influence and empower people. It can be demonstrated by an advanced level on performance assessments at the ninety-fifth percentile and above on standardized leadership tests. Some of the characteristics of leadership include curiosity, flexibility, persistence and hope.

It has been found that it is important to teach leadership skills. These skills can assist in self-esteem, decision making and developing critical thinking. They help prepare students for careers where responsible and positive leadership is essential.

Ways in which educators can incorporate leadership training into their curriculum include using science classes to present opportunities for critical thinking, analysis and creative problem solving. Teachers can also include biographies of great leaders in their LA curriculum to read and discuss. Students can learn leadership skills in humanity classes by preparing well-researched ideas in speeches and written reports. Summer classes can be a time to explore interests and allow students to engage in areas not available during school sessions.

Where can students find opportunities to develop leadership skills outside the classroom? Extracurricular activities provide avenues for developing skills necessary to lead within group and team activities. Finding mentors who are community leaders can help promote leadership skills and allow them to develop naturally. Volunteering exposes students to opportunities to practice and model leadership skills while helping those in need.


Gifted Children Learn Leadership Skills

Leadership is a Must for Children Who are Gifted & Talented” (pdf)

Creating Opportunities to Develop Leadership Ability” from @DukeTIP

Leadership Development Program Fulfills Gifted Students’ Needs” from @TxGifted (pdf) #TAGT

Student Leadership Development through General Classroom Activities

Leadership Qualities

Developing Leadership Goals for Gifted Learners” (pdf)

Spring ISD Gifted and Talented Expo Showcases Student Projects” #TAGT

 TX LoneStar Leadership Academy 

Cybraryman’s Debate Page

Cybraryman’s Genius Hour Page

Cybraryman’s Leadership Page

Making Great Kids Greater: Easing the Burden of Being Gifted” Sisk (Amazon)

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