AUGUSTA, Ga.– How do you spot the signs that your child may be gifted? Does he or she have a tremendous musical ability? are they constantly reading? As Angela Ardolino, editor of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine explains, there’s a difference between gifted and bright:
“Some parents think they love school, love learning, they’re getting straight A’s, they must be a gifted student. Not necessarily… and it doesn’t mean that they’re not smart, and they’re not bright, and they aren’t gonna go far. But when we’re talking about gifted we’re talking about gifted programs in schools, meaning you think your child is gifted and you want them to go in that special program.
“And it’s very interesting how it goes about: you’ve gotta be tested, you have to screen your child, but if you think your child is gifted, some things that you may see different is that they get along with older- they want to hang out with adults and have conversations with adults. Or, I mean one of the biggest signs for my kids is that they were bored in school, they weren’t being challenged enough. A lot of them have wild imaginations and want to continue to learn about a subject past what school does. But instead of you trying to figure it out, ask your teachers and a lot of times teachers will say they’re outperforming the rest of their class, they’re ahead of their class and ‘I really think they should be tested for being gifted.’
“You can have an enrichment program throughout their entire middle and high school years, that will be tailored to the gifted child. The first thing you do is get tested, it’s an IQ test of 130, all schools are different, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get in… but yeah, you can get tested through the school or a private practice like a psychologist or something like that, and then you go from there. Then, once all of that happens and your child gets in, you might be like me and I discovered that I have a lazy, gifted child… meaning they got used to never opening a book, never studied, she just learned it quickly, and then she had to work. So, make sure their maturity level is up there and make sure they know that they’re going to have to work a lot harder and have homework now!”
Someone who knows a lot about identifying gifted students is Columbia County gifted teacher, Dawn Jeffers.. who won the E. Paul Torrance Creativity Award at the state gifted conference on March 13th. The prestigious award is presented to an individual who has excelled in research, creative productivity, or helping recognize and develop creative potential in others. Dawn was also named Teacher of the Year at her school, Euchee Creek Elementary.