Last week the #oagctdchat had its first tweetchat. The topic was acceleration, and the conversation was fantastic. One aspect of the night that really stuck with me was a tweet by Jean (@GiftedGal11) was that if a gifted child is happy, the is in the right place. That gifted child must be stimulated and challenged.
Acceleration is a process that is necessary for the gifted child to be successful when they are not being challenged to their potential. Making sure the acceleration placement (whole grade, subject, or a combination of both) is the right placement is important. The process must involve teachers, gifted intervention specialists, parents, and the student. During this process, guidelines must be set, and I believe that an exit strategy must be developed if the placement isn’t successful. Acceleration must be something that the child wants just as much as the teachers and parents.
Acceleration must be tackled on two fronts. The first front to be tackled is the data. Data gathering about the child is important. Knowing I.Q., work ethic, test scores, interviews with a teachers, parents, and the child is just a few aspects of data gathering. Knowing as much as we can about the child is important to make sure the acceleration placement is right.
The second front to be tackled is looking at the social and emotional side of acceleration. Doing a follow up every few weeks, during the trial period to make sure the child is adjusting to the new placement. Re-interviewing the teachers, parent, and child is a must. Children must know they are supported by their teachers and parents.
I know there are other factors about acceleration that must be done, but my point here is the fact that students must have support to be successful. They must know we want the best for them. We want them happy, challenged, and stimulated. When things occur, I believe like Jean, that the gifted child will be happy.
What are your thoughts about acceleration?