What is Gifted and Talented Education? (part 4); finding the hard to find

Oct 3, 2011 by

Dick Kantenberger – Javon was flitting around the classroom like a bee in a field of wild flowers. The only problem was the tardy bell had rung and the other students were already reading their Language Arts assignment. It was an academic/co-teacher class. Academic is a euphemism for regular and I was the substitute Co-Teacher, which meant I was there to help the slower and special education students.

Javon, not his real name, was a good looking, affable Black 6th grade boy. He was oblivious to the fact that he was suppose to be reading too. I went to get him and had him come sit down next to me. Reluctantly he came, but continued to look around the room for something he needed to further investigate. While the class assignment for the day was clearly written on the black board I redundantly told him to read the assignment for twenty minutes and then write a half-page report of what he had read in his class journal.

Javon, read for three or four minutes, then scribbled a couple of sentences in his journal that didn’t seem connected and closed the book. The regular classroom teacher told me that Javon had no trouble doing his work, that is if he wanted to do it. I went back to Javon and told to forget about the class assignment and instead write about something that really interested him.

He thought for about thirty-seconds and then began to write. After he wrote a full page he handed me his journal. Every sentence and paragraph was clearly and properly written. This kid had abilities far beyond that of being in an academic/ co-teacher class and I told him so. He just smiled. I could tell he enjoyed the adulation.

I saw Javon a couple of weeks later when I substituted for the regular teacher in an academic math class. I could tell he wanted to show off for me by turning in his warm-up with the correct answer long before the rest of the students. I gave the class their assignment for the day and Javon finished it the first ten minutes; all correct. After the obligatory praise which put an even bigger smile on his face, I gave him a math problem that he would not likely see for a couple of years. He looked it over and told me no one ever taught him how to do problems like this. I told him that was alright. I asked him to go back to his seat and see if he could figure it out. His look of discontent told me that he would try but only because I had already bragged on him.

Ten minutes later he came back. While most of the normal steps to the solution were missing, he had the correct answer. I told him that he was wasting his time in this class and he needed to have a talk with his councilor about getting into a higher level class in the Spring semester. Further I told him I wanted him to sign up to take the Gifted and Talented Exam in February. I told him I did not know if he should be in GT (Gifted and Talented) or not, but he surely belonged in at least Pre-AP (Pre-Advanced Placement) math class.

He told me he would, but the smile had vanished from his face. I gave his name to the District Director of Advanced Academic Studies, who is a highly qualified Gifted and Talented practitioner and is over the districts GT program. She in turn gave Javon’s name to his councilor at the school.

via What is Gifted and Talented Education? (part 4); finding the hard to find – National gifted education | Examiner.com.

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