After I created this poster, I thought, gee, that poster is overwhelming visually. So many details, crowded together, in so many different styles. Then I realized. It’s finished. This? It represents to me what gifted is. I was trained just like everyone else as a teacher, I got the one paragraph in my undergraduate program in my “Exceptional Child” class, that the professor skimmed over. We never even discussed it. The lack of understanding? It starts right there. A lack of education, professional development, and time spent even exploring it.
The very word “gifted” can be misunderstood. A gift? It’s a wonderful, shiny package with a big sparkly bow. I mean, who doesn’t LOVE receiving a gift?
But we are talking about kids. People. Humans. It’s not about a sparkly bow. It’s about a magnifying glass of intensity that amps up qualities and characteristics in various ways, causes rapid development in some aspects, while other areas might lag behind. It’s about people thinking of the sparkly bow and think “perfect student” and “smart at everything.” Two things that just cause a child to be put, well, in a box of unfair expectations.
It’s time to get beyond the label and the myths, and reach a point of understanding. There are kids in our classrooms and schools are waiting for someone to “get” what it’s like to be them. For the words on this poster to become conversation points help see what these students are dealing with. Kids who sometimes don’t even “get” themselves. We can’t afford to misunderstand them any longer. Their needs are just as great as every other student, but far more misunderstood than anyother. They are waiting for us, and through understanding and collaboration, we can do something for them, too.
Unless, we’re just okay in our system with only meeting the needs of some kids.