How to Challenge Gifted Students

Creating a challenging classroom for gifted students

Famous American writer Eudora Welty states, “From the first I was clamorous to learn-I wanted to know and begged to be told not so much what, or how, or why, or where, as when. How soon?” Some children are just born with a passion for knowledge. The only question is how to cater to this passion that burns so strongly in these young minds. Education programs today are overly concerned with being “fair” and providing “equal” opportunities in education. Teachers and administrators are forgetting about meeting individual student needs. Each student is different and learns with different techniques and styles. The key to unlocking the potential in every student in a regular classroom, especially the gifted, is to adopt an individualized education program (IEP) for every student. Today IEPs are only required for student with diagnosed learning disabilities; however, it is my opinion that all students should have one.

Creating and IEP for every student may seem like a lot of work, especially in an economy that is in turmoil and education program funding is being cut, but it is work well worth the time. The children in school today are the future for this country. Spending time and money educating them should be a priority. My proposal would be to have a traditional kindergarten set-up, where all the students have the same curriculum. This is to evaluate the abilities of all students. Before first grade starts kindergarten teachers should be required to develop a program for each student. First grade teachers should then have a copy of the students’ IEPs and be well aware of their academic success thus far. At the end of every school year the students should be evaluated again and a new IEP should be created and passed on to each new teacher. Evaluating every year makes sure that each student has an up-to-date IEP. By doing this not only are the disabled students being noticed and taught correctly, but so are the gifted and the average.

Each student should be properly challenged to obtain a high level of knowledge. A child who is gifted and can learn at a more rapid rate than his or her peers should not be held back by assignments and lesson plans geared toward the “average” knowledge level of the group. Expectations should be set high for students, and success should be properly rewarded. Standardizing is not practical for all students. Schools are not large business companies; they should not be focusing on efficiency and budgeting. They should be focusing on getting resources and meeting students’ needs. These children could be our future presidents, congress men, doctors, and educators; we should want to make sure that they can excel in education.

America needs to stop trying to be “fair” in education. I am not saying that we should discriminate based on race, ethnicity, or gender, but yes we should discriminate on learning abilities. What is this hurting? We should not put down the students who are slower learners, or disabled, but we should reward all students on individual success based on their individual abilities. Let’s challenge these children and let each student learn to the best of their ability. We need to educate the educators of tomorrow today!