Over the weekend, Seth Godin wrote one of his short blog posts about being gifted. It has set off a wildfire of reaction. After reading what he posted, I thought I should also have my own reaction. Here is what he said:
Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…
It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents.
Talents are labeled gifts.
You’re not born this way, you get this way.
The only statement that he wrote that I agree with is the first statement. Yes it would be great being gifted. I can tell you it would allow me to be more understanding of my students at times.
What I know about this blog is that he writes things to make people think and to feel better about themselves. But his post mentioned above is a slap inthe face to Gifted Education. Let me break it down into terms that make sense to me. My gifted students didn’t choose to be asyncronious. They did not choose to think differently, anaylze differently, or sythisize information differently than their peers. They were born that way. It is as natural to them as blinking their eyes or breathing. That’s why its called GIFTED. It was a gift that was bestowed up them at birth.
Sometimes it isn’t great to be gifted. Several of my gifted students will tell you they have deal with issues such as bullying, being labeled as nerd or geek. They have issues with self esteem. Many times they feel lik they don’t fit in with their peers. Many times these students feel like they are cursed. Think about it, sometimes their age and their intellegence don’t always match. Many gifted students feel like they don’t have a lot of friends becuase they can’t connect intellectually with them. There have been many studies about gifted students who drop out of high school or college.
Some people have an inherited talent to play an instrument, or play a sport, or to be an artist. Usually these students have an existing talent, but need an instructor to help polish their talent. They were born that way. They were born with an afinity toward either some area in acedmia or artisty, or vocational. But to think that habits turn into talents is ludicris. Habits turn into habits. You can stop a habit. Gifted students can’t stop being gifted.
As a teacher, a GIS, it angers me to read the post above by Seth. He completely minimizes Gifted Education. Gifted Education is already one of those services that are the first to get cut when a district is trying to save money. Our national, state, and local governments don’t fund Gifted services like they do other programs. We have some great advocates who who in each of these levels fighting for dollars for our students. We don’t need someone who has a voice such as his to minimize all their hard work.
Below are some other posts on this topic. I am thankful for the fact there are so many other people also advocating for Gifted Education.