The 8 Great Gripes

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This Quick Write is all about the 8 great gripes.  You can write about one particular gripe, or a combination of gripes.  You may have a personal connection, whether it’s with yourself, a family member, or a student.  Remember, the goal of a Quick Write is not to worry about spelling and grammar (although it should be readable).  Rather the goal is to write your initial honest reactions to the prompt.  When the timer goes off, you will have one minute to wrap up your thoughts.

Now that you’ve watched the four movies (Great Gripes Movie #1Great Gripes Movie #2Great Gripes Movie #3Great Gripes Movie #4) that highlight the 8 greatest gripes of gifted kids, it’s time to reflect on those challenges and respond.  Here are the 8 great gripes:

  1. No one explains what being gifted is all about – it’s kept a big secret
  2. School is too easy and too boring.
  3. Parents, teachers, and friends expect us to be perfect all the time.
  4. Friends who really understand us are few and far between.
  5. Kids often tease us about being smart.
  6. We feel overwhelmed by the number of things we can do in life.
  7. We feel different and alienated.
  8. We worry about world problems and feel helpless to do anything about them.
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22 responses »

  1. I found it fascinating to think about the fact that gifted students may begin feeling like they want to drop out of school. We usually think of these students as the ones who don’t care, or who are “dumb”. But it is possible a gifted student is so bored or feels so pressured that they no longer want to be in a school environment.

  2. As I reflect as a teacher I will admit to have the tendency to expect gifted students to be perfect and at times forgetting that they are just kids and like all kids will make mistakes.

  3. I think that as a teacher for gifted children is the fact that I am worried also about them being bored, and giving things that are too easy and not challenging enough.

  4. I have a personal connection to the gripe about school is boring and too easy. I can picture the GT kids that I grew up with and I have an understanding of why they acted out now. There wasn’t a GT program in my district and these students didn’t get the services they needed.

  5. I think many gifted students find school too easy and boring because teachers are occupied with helping the struggling students and not meeting the needs of students who need to be constantly challenged in their interest fields. I know that gifted students feel pressured to be perfect because they have are labeled as “gifted and talented”. Many gifted students feel different and alienated by their peers because they feel like others do not understand their way of thinking.

  6. Being good at too many things definitely causes issues. My dad was pushed into majoring in chemistry because he was good at it and it came easy for him. He had a very successful career designing industrial lubricants like oils and bi-polar lipids even getting 5 different patents. However, he was always telling my brothers and I not to do the same thing that he did and get stuck in something because it was easy for us. He wanted us to be sure that we had a passion for it. He hated his job as a chemist.

  7. My gripe is that sometimes people don’t understand my intelligence and are intimidated, and that sometimes there are too many options presented to me without actually being able to plan and figure out which one works the best for me in staff development.

  8. Those who teach gifted children need to find a balance between letting them be children and giving them enough of a challenge to keep them interested and to help them grow and expand their talents. These students may need extra attention or special grouping to help them feel welcome and understood among peers.

  9. Some students need help honing in on their skills and talent sets. Students who feel talented in many areas can have difficulty finding what their true interests are.

  10. Juanita Gauna: Number 3 stands out to me the most. Just because they are GT they are set at a higher standard and pictured as perfect and successful. Thats not the case, since they can be GT in one area and lack in another area. This then leads to feeling of failure when they do not meet the expectations of being perfect and they will shut themselves down. We need to prepare the students for real life challenges in which they will not always be successful or perfect. At times, they will fail and it will be OKAY!

  11. I would like to respond to the gripe- We feel overwhelmed by the number of things we can do in life. I feel that this is a natural feeling that many people share, not just gifted students. My suggestion to someone who is experiencing this would be, relax, don’t do it, everything will work out just as you didn’t plan, or plan it to.

  12. “We feel overwhelmed by the number of things we can do in life.”
    I connect to this one personally. Sometimes I wonder if I chose to do the right thing. I am often frustrated because of my difficulty in social situations, and teaching is a very social-skill oriented job. I think of all the other things I could be doing, and wonder if I picked the right one, or if I should be doing something else with my life. I have enjoyed teaching, with the exceptions of the problems I have just because my social and emotional intelligence isn’t strong enough to help me navigate through some situations. There are so many other things I could do -what if I did something where social skills was less important? What would I do? I am good at so many things, but I don’t enjoy all of them, and I’m not sure I would enjoy doing them every day, all day. It makes me freeze whenever I think about it, so I just keep doing what I am doing now even though I have so many doubts. I’ve felt this way ever since I started thinking about a career, so at this point I’m not sure if I feel this way out of habit or if it’s even a legitimate feeling now!

  13. I have heard many students complain about school being boring and too easy. I am glad that I learned more about tiered instruction so that I can address more needs.

    My son is gifted and this helps me understand him more. I know that he is different and making friends is awkward for him so now I can help.

  14. I think it is interesting to find the characteristics of GT learners present in people with whom I grew up.

  15. What I have noticed is that GT students are not apt to ask for clarification when they don’t know. They or others have put the idea into their heads that they “should know” because they are GT. I think it is important for the students and parent to know what GT really means and to remove the misconceptions from the beginning of the school year.

  16. Growing up in a country far from mine, learning a new language, finding new friends, and getting used to a new school system definitely took a toll on me, and I lived a lot of the 8 gripes. Even though an ELL, school often times seemed easy and boring, therefore I was teased a few times for being smart. I also had/have many passions in life, therefore, it was hard to choose one career path! All my choices involved helping others, which makes me relate to gripe 8, where I want to solve the world’s problems.

  17. Many gifted children have these thoughts and feelings when in the classroom. They honestly feel that their teacher expects them to the “perfect” and are overwhelmed by too many options. I have had many students in my classroom who I can definitely classify as being several of these profiles.The combination of these characteristics can be seen in many children.

  18. I personally could identify with worrying about the world problems and being helpless. At times I felt guilty when I was happy because of all the hardships other people were going through, it made me anxious and made me feel like i should prepare for something bad to happen to me. It was hard to accept disasters, but with time and practice I was able to feel happy. I played my part in the community by giving resources, or volunteering for the community. I feel like i can help and make a difference now.

  19. I was surprised about some of the great gripes. I did not know that some gifted learners worry about the world problems and have a hard time making important decisions. I am excited to work with all the different types of gifted learners.

  20. Gifted students need a lot of school support to help them become more self aware. The more they understand how their brains work, the more they can be successful in school and dealing with parents and peers.

  21. Many of the GT students I’ve interacted with in the past really struggle with making decisions. So I think it’s important that teachers understand this trait of GT students and also help students practice making decisions.

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