(This is an on-going series on various students I've taught and their personalities and learning styles. See the tag "the class" for more.)
This student make me happy. Annie* is smart, hard working, and oh so talented. She's the type of student that inspires teachers to teach better. I did end up telling her to attend real art school. She seemed pleased. I wonder if she and her parents will do anything about it.
The class gifted is relatively more difficult to spot than the other ones. Sometimes they are wallflower-ish. Sometimes they are by-stander-ish. Most of the time, they are humble enough to not flaunt their talents the way lesser gifted students would. And when there are 34 other big personalities to deal with, well, I end up not spending as much of my teaching energy on these gifted students as I would like to.
It's easy to justify my lack by saying that these kids will excel anyway, with or without guidance. This isn't always true. Sometimes gifted students become bored, then act out from boredom, then end up in places where their talents languish unknown by the world and - worst of all - unknown to themselves.
But there are distinguishing characteristics of the class gifted. Each individual class gifted will show it in a different way. I disagree with JL on a lot of things (i.e. nearly all things), but did approve of his intentions of introducing his students to extra-curriculars like sports or music. I would even take it a step more and provide parents with a list of community resources to look into. I've learned that many people won't bother to do something new unless things are set up easy for them. And then their interest has got to be nurtured until they can feed it themselves. Man, people are so needy!
And now I need to get ready for this afternoon's art lesson.