Connie Gordon has twenty years classroom experience working in the field of gifted education, and is the founder of Scholaris Gifted Academy. Under the guidance of Sharon Gerleman, Connie has developed and taught graduate level classes in gifted education and has designed adjunct programs specifically for gifted learners.
Parents and/or educators may not think a child is gifted if they are not receiving good grades. Underachievement describes a discrepancy between a student’s performance and his actual ability. The roots of this problem differ, based on each child’s experiences. Gifted students may become bored or frustrated in an unchallenging classroom situation causing them to lose interest, learn bad study habits, or distrust the school environment. Other students may mask their abilities to try to fit in socially with their same-age peers. No matter the cause, it is imperative that a caring and perceptive adult help gifted learners break the cycle of underachievement in order to achieve their full potential. We will be discussing Underachieving Gifted Learners at our next parent meeting on Wednesday, April 23, from 6-8PM at Fiddleheads in Mequon.
There exist many myths and misconceptions about the gifted and talented population. Below is a sampling of the “myths and truths” from National Association for Gifted Children. Please go to the NAGC website (www.nagc.org) for an in-depth discussion of each myth and truth.
Myth: Gifted students don’t need help; they’ll do fine on their own.
Truth: Would you send a star athlete to train for the Olympics without a coach? Gifted students need guidance from well-trained teachers who challenge and support them in order to fully develop their abilities. Many gifted students may be so far ahead of their same-age peers that they know more than half of the grade-level curriculum before the school year begins. Their resulting boredom and frustration can lead to low achievement, despondency, or unhealthy work habits. The role of the teacher is crucial for spotting and nurturing talents in school.
Myth: Teachers challenge all the students, so gifted kids will be fine in the regular classroom.
Truth: Although teachers try to challenge all students they are frequently unfamiliar with the needs of gifted children and do not know how to best serve them in the classroom. The National Research Center on Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) found that 61% of classroom teachers had no training in teaching highly able students, limiting the challenging educational opportunities offered to advanced learners. A more recent national study conducted by the Fordham Institute found that 58% of teachers have received no professional development focused on teaching academically advanced students in the past few years. Taken together, these reports confirm what many families have known: not all teachers are able to recognize and support gifted learners.
Myth: Gifted students are happy, popular, and well adjusted in school.
Truth: Many gifted students flourish in their community and school environment. However, some gifted children differ in terms of their emotional and moral intensity, sensitivity to expectations and feelings, perfectionism, and deep concerns about societal problems. Others do not share interests with their classmates, resulting in isolation or being labeled unfavorably as a nerd. Because of these difficulties, the school experience is one to be endured rather than celebrated. It is estimated that 20 to 25% of gifted children have social and emotional difficulties, about twice as many as in the general population of students.
Myth: This child can’t be gifted, he has a disability.
Truth: Some gifted students also have learning or other disabilities. These twice-exceptional students often go undetected in regular classrooms because their disability and gifts mask each other, making them appear average. Other twice-exceptional students are identified as having a learning disability and as a result, are not considered for gifted services. In both cases, it is important to focus on the students’ abilities and allow them to have challenging curricula in addition to receiving help for their learning disability.
SGA Open House
Scholaris Gifted Academy will host an Open House on Monday, April 14 from 4-7 p.m. Our goal is to assist families of gifted learners and provide the needed educational, social, and emotional support.
SGA Parent Meetings
Parents in the Scholaris community organize monthly meetings to discuss the developmental needs of gifted learners. Our meeting on Wednesday, April 23, will discuss Underachieving Gifted Learners, 6-8PM, Fiddleheads Café, Mequon.
SGA Super Science Saturdays
Our Super Science Saturdays with Jerry Hoefs from Brain Brigade on April 12th is FULL. Mr. Hoefs will also be offering classes during our Summer Convocation. Please contact the school for more information.
SGA Summer Convocation
Scholaris Gifted Academy is pleased to announce our inaugural Summer Convocation! Sessions include: The Science of Gases - July 7-11; Imagine, Construct, and Fly! - July 14-18; Music! Words! Create! Perform!...Opera! - July 7-11 & 14-18. We are also offering a Young Scholar's Adventure for our youngest learners (K3 through K5).
We are a child centered school serving the social, emotional, and intellectual needs of gifted children.
For more information on any of our programs please contact:
Scholaris Gifted Academy, 217 West Dunwood Rd., Rm., 113, Milwaukee, WI 53217
Face book: www.facebook.com/ScholarisGiftedAcademy
Scholaris Gifted Academy admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.