Asynchronous development plays a role in age-peer relations for gifted tweens and teens. Middle school is often a time for making new friends and testing boundaries. Maturity levels greatly affect age-peer relations. Gifted high school students may approach relationships in an adult manner before they’re ready.
Family dynamics also plays a major role in the transition from tween to teen. Parents need to recognize peer influence and provide opportunities for gifted kids to socialize outside of school. Understand that gifted tweens and teens are under more stress to achieve and to compete during the middle school and high school years.
Should gifted services be ‘subject to change’ once students leave elementary school? Giftedness does not begin in 2nd grade & end in 6th; it continues across the lifespan. Gifted services are even more important as gifted students enter middle and high school. They need MORE support; not less.
What should gifted education look like in middle school and high school? Cooperative learning stressed in general education can have inherent limitations for gifted students and exacerbate anxiety for them. Flexible grouping based on ability should be considered as students enter secondary education; pair students with intellectual peers.
Schools have a responsibility to provide guidance to gifted students facing social-emotional issues during the middle to high school transition. The general school population may have very different social-emotional needs at these ages; all should be served. Failure to meet social-emotional needs of middle and high school gifted students in transition can lead to major societal issues later on.
Adults can inspire gifted tweens and teens to develop their gifts and talents. Parents and professionals can serve as role models for gifted tweens and teens. Adults can participate as mentors and career counselors for gifted students as they explore passions and ways to utilize talents. A transcript 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 1 PM NZST/11 AM AEST/Midnight 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
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.