by - 4:56:00 PM

I'm sitting in my mom's gifted certification class tonight for lack of anything remotely productive or entertaining to do. My days are so filled with excitement these days. I wash dishes, do laundry, take care of the dog and cat, and apply for jobs that don't even have the courtesy to acknowledge my application.

These people in this class are an interesting bunch. They fall into two categories - the ones that think of themselves as gifted and those that just think of themselves as ordinary people. This one lady, for example, takes great joy in pointing out inaccuracies in the teacher's lecture. She is loud and very oppinionated. No one has said anything to contradict her opinions. I get the feeling that they're all afraid of her. She would probably just point out all of the inaccuracies of their opinions. I get the vibe from her that she is the type of person who feels entitled to her opinion but doesn't have time for the opinions of others, especially if they differ from hers.

I went through the gifted program during my regular schooling. It changed drastically from elementary school to middle school to high school. However, never once did I feel like I was being "trained" because I wasn't able to handle my own mind power. The teacher of this class just asserted to her room full of educators yearning for their gifted certification that gifted students need to be discovered early in life so that they can be trained. The loud, opinionated woman took it so far as to say that gifted children are being trained for "jobs that don't even exist today." I resent that. It's as if these educators are being told that they have the power and the responsibility to manipulate these gifted children to fill the roles that they think they should fill.

I know gifted children need to be taught in different ways than children with average intelligence. However, I do not believe that these children should have their lives and way of thinking molded for them by a group of "well-meaning" educators.

I came through the gifted program without any teacher trying to manipulate me into thinking a certain way. I was allowed to form my own opinions and choose my own path in life. Or at least that's how I remember it.

I suppose it's possible that my teachers did attempt to mold me into the type of person society seems to think a "gifted" person should be and I was just too strong-willed and independent to be influenced by the manipulations of someone who may or may not have been less intelligent than I was/am.

Normal teachers and normal teaching methods do not exist. No two students learn the same way. It is a teacher's duty to discover the strengths and weaknesses of her students and present knowledge to them in a way they understand and will benefit from, whether those students are gifted, average or below average in intelligence. It is not their duty to interfere in their way of thinking or to try to make them into something they may not want to be simply because they have a higher or lower IQ than the average person.

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