If My Child is in a Gifted Program, Why are his Grades So Low?
Many children who switch from a general education classroom to a gifted self-contained classroom find it a bit overwhelming at first. There can be tears when a student who usually receives all A’s gets a B or C on a quiz. There can be frustration from parents who are used to feeling proud of their child’s high scores.
In many cases, what has happened is that the gifted children learned how to underachieve. Gifted students can learn the typical material in about half the time of a average student, so when they see their peers working more slowly, they learn to slow down their pace. “By the fourth grade, they have experienced several years of coming to school, putting forth very little effort, and getting amply rewarded for it” (Rogers, p. 270).
Therefore, in my fifth-grade class, I have to spend a few weeks breaking bad habits that the students have spent years creating. We are moving at a pace twice as fast as that to which they are accustomed, and they need to learn how to function in that environment. I do not have a “skill and drill” class. Over time, they will get used to practicing the material with fewer repetitions; however, in order to do that, they will need to increase their focus and attention and invest energy into working at a much faster pace.
Is My Kid Still Gifted?!
Of Course! There are varying levels of giftedness - and in different subject areas and modalities - so just because your child is no longer “the top” one in the class doesn’t change the fact that s/he has higher-than-average strengths. In a partnership between teacher and parent, we will provide outstanding education experiences and increase the levels of expectations so that your child can fulfill her/his highest potential!
Resources: Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind by Deborah L. Ruf, and Re-Forming Gifted Education by Karen B. Rogers