Some of the areas that I found interesting were found in Chapter 12 on Performance Issues. I liked that it addressed perfectionism, school achievement, resiliency and risk taking. Being that most gifted students are perfectionist regarding their schoolwork and driven to be the best does not mean that they can not make mistakes. It is hard for them to realize that they can not be perfect all the time. I like the Managing Perectionism tip sheet on page 162. This tip sheet shows how a child can recognize his/her own perfectionism and evaluate his/her own behavior.
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In response to Stacey L on July 13, I also see many of our gifted students struggle with perfectionism, which I think can bleed over into their peer relationships, causing them further trouble. Sometimes I have heard them make comments that sort of takes on a tone of "one upping" others. I think the tip sheet could help them evaluate their behavior, and perhaps even help them reflect on their effect on others. Also there is a book written for kids about the topic of perfectionism. I think the title may be What's So Bad About Being So Good.
@/StaceyL...I love the sheets too; however, I am going to need practice at facilitating this in my young students. While highly logical, I wonder how mature they are. I know many adults that are logical but at times very immature.
I like the author’s way of explaining that many times most dialogues between parent/teacher and a child/student after an inappropriate behavior, problem, or crisis situation doesn’t concentrate on what the behavior was communicating. When a parent/teacher takes on the role of the emotional coach there is “a shift from managing behavior to understanding and shaping the way in which the child reacts to the world” (p.197). As teachers, we are given the task to help teach, mold and shape our students to be lifelong learners and productive community citizens. Addressing their social/emotional needs in a way that helps students learn to *emotionally* monitor and help themselves is an added bonus.A gifted student who tends toward perfectionism will often shut down, especially when given an open-ended project (p.157). This is an enlightening fact, as I had always thought the more open-ended the better for all gifted/creative minds. I have experienced this shutting down phenomenon with some of my gifted students over the years and now understand why.
FMoore's post on July 13th makes an excellent point that we, as teachers, have to aid our students to be aware that ultimately they are responsible to become productive members of the community. We teach the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of our kids. As a good coach, we never forget to address their social and emotional needs.
July 13 F.Moore hit the nail on the head. We cannot just spend time on their learning but also on their social/emotional. Helping each student understand their emotions and how they can use them for success and not just a way to hide behind. This leads to them communicating in a way that will gain them success in the classroom.
I also agree with FMoore. Part of our job as teachers is to help students understand and positively deal with their emotions.
I thought it was interesting and noteworthy that gifted students often lack resiliency (p. 162). Since this is such an important life skill, I am reminded that we need to create an environment in which academic risk taking is encouraged, and then work with our students to develop coping skills. I also liked the tip sheet on defusing anger on on p. 188. This is another strategy I think we could teach during a family meeting. All of our students could benefit from direct instruction of many of these skills and strategies.
In response to travelingbug's post of July 15, academic risk taking is essential. The gifted child has to feel comfortable in working independently and should not fear failure. Living in the real world is all about taking risks.
In response to travelingbug's post of July 15, you were right on target when you said that gifted students who lack resiliency need to be immersed in an environment where it is alright to take risks and be academically challenged. This reminded me of a student who I had this past year, who was always upset that his regular classroom teacher ridiculed him because he made mistakes on his math, and she would tell him in front of the class that he "should have not made that silly mistake because he is gifted." I then had to teach him coping skills to deal with this type of behavior and to get his teacher to see how the behavior made him feel. It is unfortunate that some of our gifted students have to deal with these kinds of issues.
In response to Travelingbug:I loved Tip Sheet 21: Diffusing AngerThe sheet mentions to teach your child or student these tips, but I think it would be a great idea for parents as well. Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you have your anger under control.
@ travelinbug I agree. I know that in my class I really need to encourage risk taking more. Let a kid try something and make sure they are not penalized if they fall short of the expectation. My only issue is, this school year I'm looking at 37 GT kids in class, along with teaching two other classes. How much do I allow and still keep my own sanity?
Perfectionism in the gifted child can be debilitating for them at times. The monitoring tip sheet for the perfectionist on page 162 is an excellent way for them to evaluate their issues. As teachers we are careful to observe those who are high academic achievers vs. the gifted perfectionist. Often the high academic achievers and GT perfectionists welcome structure and guidelines yet on page 157 the author states that open-ended projects can often blind side the perfectionists. They want to make sure that they are hitting every aspect of the spelled out goals. The high academic achiever often sets their own goals but the perfectionist wants to please and know exactly what paths they are to take to ace everything they believe the teacher will want. I do, however, believe that the creative gifted child is capable of taking risks and setting high goals for themselves when an open-ended situation is presented. Being gifted does not necessarily mean that one canalways travel in the discovery/inquiry path. Some would love to have a "checklist" so to speak to make sure they cover all their bases. But is this trure for all perfectionists? I think not.
July 16, T. Healy. I liked how she commented that perfectionism can be debilitating to them at times. I too liked the monitoring tip shit on pg. 162. We need to teach them how to measure their on issues and how to now let their idea of perfectionism hold them back. Just allowing them to know that they are still gifted if they are not perfect. When you are perfect it closes the learning cycle and gifted students are enthralled with learning.
In response to T Healey's post of July 16 on perfectionism, I like to teach my gifted students and their parents that perfectionism can be used for very positive purposes. I like to tell them that certain jobs demand a certain degree of excellence or perfectionism because of a safety issue or a medical issue. In this case, the tendencies to be a perfectionist should be embraced and developed to a higher degree. However, when perfectionism paralyzes or inhibits a student because he or she is afraid to fail, then it's something to be corrected and improved on. I like to show them both sides of perfectionism.
I agree with T. Healey's post on July 16. With the demands on the Writing EOC test (three one-page essays with revising and editing questions in four hours) teaching our students strategies to work through their tendencies for perfectionism is very important. Some of our g/t students across the district were overwhelmed with the limited time, didn't finish, and therefore failed. Sometimes we have the luxury of time to make it perfect. Sometimes we have to be satisfied with "good enough" and move on.
pg. 157 Performance Issues. Most G.T. students are perfectionists so there is a need to not only understand this but also realize that being a perfectionist can cause problems in the classroom and with peers. Because of this they fear making mistakes or getting something wrong. I have had this problem in the past. Certain students have struggled to turn work in. I have talked to the parents and the student but have struggled to get the student to understand how important this is. After reading this I really liked the Tip Sheet on pg. 162 this can help me to understand how a student feels about their perfectionism. Also having them focus on the process and not always the outcome. Also talking to each student about them having a realistic view of things.
In response to Laura Boyd, I agree that being a perfectionist can cause problems in the classroom with peers. The tip sheet on page 162 does seem like it would be good for the perectionist student to understand themselves and in retun be able to cope with thier identity. It is no always easy letting go of things that may seem to be important and on the front burner, but in time with this tip sheet it can help them prioritize.
In response to Laura Boyd, I agree with you about being perfectionists. As i have mentioned previously, i have many students who have this issue (they have to be absolutely correct all the time) and after reading the Tip sheet it provided me with some insight about how/why they feel this way. I hope to use the tip sheet and maybe this can help some of my students this year.
To LB,Definitely agreeing with the process being more important that the outcomes. I am enjoying the process of reading the book and jotting down my thoughts, while reading others ideas. The outcomes will have to take care of themselves.
On page 162, the tip sheet in managing perfectionism was very well written. It is concise, yet very meaningful. I work with quite a few students that demonstrate perfectionism tendencies, so I will certainly be sharing this tip sheet with my parents. On page 167, the tip sheet on developing resiliency is also very well written. Often times, I see parents that do not want their child to struggle in the least bit, and will do everything possible to prevent their child from experiencing any sort of difficulty. Although they mean well, this type of parenting does not enable a child to develop that resiliency that is needed to get through tough times. I like to always remind my students that how they work through struggles and difficulties is just as important as other accomplishments.
To PKassir July 16It is truly difficult to watch your child struggle, but I believe it is a necessary part of life (to a certain degree). The parents who try to protect their children from failure are actually harming them and supporting their perfectionism.
On page 177, the author is summing up the chapter about performance issues and states, “None of the initial dialogues concentrated on problem solving or teaching. This is the biggest difference between coaching your child and traditional parenting—a shift from managing a problem to teaching the child how to problem solve and manage his own behaviors.” This puts into words for me as to why sometimes the conversations I have with my students go really well, and why sometimes the conversations head south. Am I trying to coach or manage? I also appreciated the author acknowledging that sometimes open-ended questions are difficult for students to answer, and one can open the lines of communication by offering the child a couple of choices as to where the conversation goes (as in the conversation on page 187 or page 196). As much as I enjoyed the tips for those, the one I highlighted was on page 182 where the parent has given the child a couple of choices as to why her stomach hurt and she responds with “I don’t know”, and the mother asks “If you did know, what do you think your answer would be?”. I love that follow up. The “I don’t know” is such a dead end answer, and this could be used sometimes to keep the conversation going.
In response to CAMallette's post on July 20-I agree that in traditional parenting and teaching we are managing problem behaviors and not teaching them how to problem solve and manage their own behavior.I will definitely think about my own conversations with my students and try to "coach" instead of "manage".
In pages 157-199 Chapters 12 and 13, I found it very helpful the way Fonseca approached the reconstruction of dialogue. Her format of "The Initial Dialogue" "Analysis of Dialogue" and "New Dialogue Using Coaching Strategies" made it so clear where our converstions lead us into trouble and then, thankfully, how we can adjust our words to break down some of the barriers to communication. I have to admit it made the reading a little tedious, but the redirection of the conversations were interesting to follow and worth the effort.
In response to Susan, I also liked the way that the communication was shown one way and then new dialogue with the coaching was shown to help lay out the situation differently. I can think of times when I could have handled something a little better in a situation and should have thought more about the approach before addressing the child. Redirecting conversations can help keep my emotions in check. It is good to also remind ourselves that we are human, and sometimes we do have to redirect how we originally think some conversations should be handled with our students.
In response to Susan and AmyL:I agree - Redirecting conversations can help the student/child as well as the adult. There will be less frustration and hopefully will lead to better conversations. In order for this to happen, we need to try and figure out multiple responses for each topic.
P. 169 The scenario with Gabriella and the fact that she won’t go to school.The author talks about setting boundaries and also giving some choices(walk to class on her own or get help from the office) to the child to get the outcome. This is very similar to Love and Logic where I give choices to my students for problem solving in situations. This allows the child to feel like he/she has some part in making a decision and it takes some stress off of me. It also allows me to step back and watch what kind of decision the child will make.P. 197“Emotional coaching for a child is a shift from managing behavior to understanding and shaping the way in which a child reacts with his/her world.”I think that trying to understand the GT child can be hard. Going about it using a coaching technique will make things run more smoothly in the classroom. It will also allow for more understanding of how this type of child thinks through the many things that he/she deals with each day.
In response to AmyL on July 21, I also use Love and Logic in my classroom and give my students two choices to select from when making a decision. I agree that it works. The teacher has clearly defined what options the student has, but it gives the child the ownership in making the choice. It also gives the student a chance to begin making decisions for their self. We need to teach students how to make good choices now, because they will have to make their own choices as they get older, and there will not always be someone there to guide them to the better choice.
I was surprised by how much perfectionism impacts gifted students and their ability to take risks, as well as how it can cause school-based phobias. I thought the managing perfectionism tip sheet on page 162 had some good ideas. I especially think it is helpful to teach the child to recognize their perfectionism. How can we teach them to deal with something, if they don’t fully understand it? I also like the tip about focusing on the process and not the outcome. It is equally as important for the child to learn how to deal with the challenge they face, as it is important for the child to learn how to overcome the challenge.
To KMuske July 22I completely agree that it is important for children to learn to deal with challenges. Children learn so much about themselves when they are dealing with challenges, but it can be a very scary process for them. It's important for us to support them, encourage them, and teach them coping skills to deal with challenges. After all, they will have challenges to conquer throughout their whole lives.
I agree with KMuske that it is surprising how much perfectionism impacts gifted students and their ability to take risks. In looking back, I see how some of my students behaviors were really the struggle with that perfectionism, not the begavior that I thought it was really about.
I like the dialogue on pages 174-177 between Vincent and his teacher concerning his failure to complete and turn in work. While reading this I was reminded of how important it is to not be accusational when talking to students. You have to approach the topic gently and choose your words carefully in order to get your point across without the student becoming defensive. I also like tip sheet #20 on page 183 on helping children deal with stress. Although it's more geared toward parents, it is helpful for educators to be reminded of the items on the list in order to better understand where our students might be coming from.
Melanie, I too liked the dialogue with Vincent. As educators, we have to be so careful as to the words that we use with our students! This whole chapter really brought home to me how quickly a conversation can go in the ditch. Choosing my words and watching my tone is something that I know I need to work on in my own teaching life.
I did not find many more ahas as this section was more of the scenarios. What did speak to me is the need for teachers to take the lead in helping gifted students to have 'life skills.' As educators the burden of raising all children continues fall on us. The emotionally intense gifted student needs our help as much as the special needs student at the other end of the spectrum. It does make me wonder how long before we realize all students need some sort of coaching, regardless of their IQ or skill level.
In the conclusion, the author explains that you cannot understand and mentor a gifted child till you understand yourself and realize your strengths and weaknesses. (page129 ebook) I think those ideas are important for us to remember. For a long time, I didn't understand the airline directive, "Put on your own oxygen mask first." We can't fill up others if we are empty ourselves.
Agree with you regarding the importance of self awareness and personal reflection for mentors. Also, I used the think the same thing about the oxygen masks:)
I really liked the dialogue coaching strategies. One line in particular struck me, from page 165. It said, "The parent is setting a difficult boundary and expectation." I wanted to cheer for the parent! Far too often I see parents bailing their kids out of things when the going gets tough and I think it really interferes with their coping and resiliency.
@CWinegar- I completely agree! We are also starting to see this in the classroom by seeing some adults giving students excuses for not reaching those expectations. We have to maintain a consistency of expectations in order to allow students to gain coping and resiliency skills that will allow them to succeed once they leave our doors.
I loved the dialogue between the father and son on Pages 158-161. I think this probably happens all too often at home and at school. The parent had to re-think how to speak to his child about perfectionism in his school work and homework. We all need to take a second to re-think and word our concerns in a way that are not accusatory but caring and understanding.
I thought the tip sheet on "Managing Perfection" (page 162) was informational. The tip sheet could be helpful to the teachers wortking with the students and the parents of those students at home. Another tip sheet I liked was "ReducingSocial and School Anxiety" on page 171.I thought the tips for reducing stress on page 193 were important to all parties: teachers, parents and students.
I honestly don't think I could pick a single "aha" from this section. The series of dialogue analyses for each scenario is such that they are applicable to so many situations. Students often know exactly how to push our "mad button" (p. 159) in any given situation. But, being able to see through the series of dialogues how taking a step back, remaining unemotional, and giving the student the feeling that they have some control over an emotional situation by allowing them choices helps diffuse high tension situations and allow you to get back to focusing on the entire class.
In response to Sara, You are right about not being able to find just one aha. The commonality of it all seems to be to stay unemotional, unjudging, and cool. I think my challenge will be staying cool and being able to think about what choices to give a student in a given situation!
I like the way the author used the "coaching" with dialogue strategies. It allowed me to see some situations that have come up and look at the way they could have gone or how saying one thing, resulted in one direction. Providing a coaching of the dialogue supports me in when these situations occur again, I feel that I have a resource to use to move in a better direction.
My AAH's were the dialogues. I especially liked the one on page 169 with Gabriella being given choices when she refuses to go to school. This is similar to Love and Logic which I try to use in my class. I like to give my students various choices so they feel they are "in control" and have more "ownership" over their choices. sometimes they look at me confused and say "I have a choice over how i do something OR what i can do OR what happens in a certain situation".
I thought the section on "Resiliency and Risk Taking", on ebook pages 501-502 was very helpful. I did not realize that many gifted kids are uncomfortable with taking any risks for fear of failure. They do not like the feeling of not being successful and therefore will avoid it. Tip Sheet 18 on ebook pages 514-515 listed many great ideas for helping kids develop resiliency and learn to move forward.
I also like the "Resiliency and Risk Taking" tool. Failure is can be so crushing for the highly able. I read a quote somewhere that communicated that success is not as great a teacher as failure (not sure who stated it). The highly able have so much potential, and it is unfortunate when their ability is hindered from flourishing because of the fear of failure.
My a ha moments were the dialogue boxes. Knowing how to talk with an emotionally charged GT kid has made talking with my son a lot easier. Being able to kind of antipathetic what he's going to say and then create a response that makes him think is very helpful.W
The section in Ch. 12 on page 166 titled School Based Phobias was not an A-HA, but was all new to me. As I read the section, my heart broke for the parents of students who struggle with this phobia. The coaching strategies, though I have never used them, seem that they would be effective. I anticipate that I will be referring back to this book and its resources throughout my career.