Education or Sports: Why Not Both?

I have seen and heard many stories where parents of gifted students are afraid to have their children participate in a physical activity or a sports team. There are a variety of reasons, from being afraid that they will get injured, to failure to see sports as a productive use of time. However, physical activity is a good idea for gifted students for a number of reasons, the least of which is exercise.

First, sports are good because they allow your gifted student to network with people outside of their normal peer group. The people that they will meet will be varied in their intellect and knowledge of the world, and the experience that your gifted student will receive by interacting with different people is valuable. Your gifted student will learn valuable communication skills that will serve them through out their life. Often communication is a weak point for gifted students, so the chance to practice with other kids of varying intellect is very valuable.

Second, sports help students cope with school. I know that the activity that I look forward to through out the day is my Volleyball practice. Even though school may not be going the way that I would like, I can get through the day because I know that I can have a great time for two hours during my Volleyball practice. By giving your gifted students something to look forward to outside of school, you are giving them an opportunity to clear their head and think of something other than their education for awhile.

Lastly, sports will give your gifted student the opportunity to get out and play. Similar to the last reason, this is very important because often times a gifted student is bogged down with responsibilities. They may feel that they have to live up to numerous expectations including their own. This is no mean feat, and the opportunity to act like a normal kid is very valuable. When a gifted student can go out and just have fun, they are able to perform their best in all the other areas of their life.

I hope that this post has given you a little perspective on why I think that sports are beneficial for gifted students. Because of the many demands that teachers, parents, and they themselves heap upon them, gifted students need the opportunity to vent and have fun.

Quote of the Day

“Education is about learning to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity. It is about learning to savor the quality of the journey. It is about inquiry and deliberation. It is about becoming critically minded and intellectually curious, and it is about learning how to frame and pursue your own educational aims.”

-Elliot W. Eisner

When we try and educate our students and the only goal in mind is to do well on a government administered test, how can we expect our students to have fun or take away meaningful experiences from their education. What they are going to receive is a sense that they are not unique and that there only purpose is to take tests. When this is applied to a critical thinker, such as a gifted student, they may probe even deeper. They may find out that a schools performance on a test dictates the type of funding that they receive, and that the school gets money from a student being present in class. Are those really the images and ideas that we want to be sending to our gifted students?

Quote of The Day

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

W. B. Yeats

If a gifted student is not interested in a subject, or if they cannot see the relevance of a subject to their life, then they are not going to be nearly as receptive to learning about the subject as if they are interested and they understand the real-world application. When a student refuses to learn about a subject, that student could then be marked as a discipline case and from there numerous other things could occur, but all could have been prevented if only the child had seen the relevance in a subject.

Quote of The Day

The essence of intelligence is skill in extracting meaning from everyday experience.

-Unknown

As I have said in many posts before, sometimes keeping a student engaged is as easy as showing them how the topic at hand applies to the real world. Often gifted students do not like to do unnecessary or seemingly irrelevant work, so if you show them how it can be used in their future, they may be more receptive to learning the subject.

Quote of The Day

Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.

-Malcolm Forbes

An open mind is one of the most fundamental traits that people should learn. Teaching students how to be open to others ideas is one way to secure a peaceful future for the world. Sometimes gifted students have trouble with keeping an open mind, often other’s ideas seem second rate or not important enough to give attention to. By correcting a gifted student’s mistake, you can help open their mind to other’s ideas and opinions.

How do you open a students mind to new possibilities and ideas? Reply in the Comments Section.

Quote of The Day

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.

-Herbert Spencer

When a student truly learns something, they are able to take that knowledge and use it in a real-world situation. When a gifted student seems bored or unresponsive, one way to try and engage them is to show them how to act on their knowledge. Similar to Bloom’s Taxonomy, this quote is representative of gifted education. What sets gifted students apart is their ability to take knowledge and act on it.

How do you show real-world applications to Gifted Students? Reply in the Comments Section.

Quote of The Day

The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.

-Diogenes Laertius

One of the reasons that people fight so hard for gifted education. I was listening to Barbra Clark speak about a former communist country, she said that they had held their brightest minds back for so long, now there is no one to lead their country. The gifted students of toady could be the next diplomats and politicians of tomorrow.

Do you think that the United States is doing a good job of nurturing tomorrow’s leaders? Reply in the Comments.

For The Students: How to Approach A Teacher

This is a post for any student readers or children of my adult readers.

When you have an idea or a question, are you able to approach your teacher and confidently voice your opinions? If you already are proficient at this then that is wonderful, for everyone else, this post is aiming to help you develop the strategies to talk with your teachers and hopefully take charge of your education.

1. Think over your concern. Make sure you know what you want before you go in and talk with your teacher. It does not do any good to try and ask for something if you do not know what you are asking for. By outlining your game plan before you reach a critical stage you are setting yourself up for success.

2. Set an appointment. By arranging ahead of time with your teacher, you can assure that they will not be preoccupied and that you will receive their full attention on your ideas. It also shows them that you are serious about your ideas and that it is not something that you are going to give up on or do half-heartedly. Also if other students have similar thoughts or grievances, consider approaching your teacher together. This is a way to insure a stronger message. As the saying goes, there is safety in numbers.

3. Do not offend the teacher. This may seem like a no brainier, but by choosing your words carefully you can make sure that your full message is heard. Words such as “boring” and “easy” are words that will switch off your teacher. Speak with force but do not yell, make sure that you are confident in your words and that you show that you have ginuine interest in trying to help make your idea work. Try to keep your teacher from feeling defensive as this will cause them to be less likely to help you. Remember, sometimes teachers are afraid or feel threatened by gifted students. Try and show them that you are not scary!

4. Listen to the teacher. It does no good to try and garner the attention of someone and then not listen to what they have to say. This does not mean that you have to agree with what your teacher is saying, but rather it means that you need to acknowledge their ideas, but not back down from your views. If you passively accept whatever the teacher is saying then you are not helping your cause.

5. Restate your convictions. When you feel the discussion coming to a close, restate what you have agreed upon as the solution, also make sure that you and your teacher are on the same page so there is no confusion later on. By eliminating this aspect of confusion, you can make sure that your views are know to your teacher, and they cannot go back on the agreement later.

6. Say Thank You. This shows that you appreciated the time the teacher took and also demonstrates a level of maturity, especially if the meeting did you go as planned.

7. Follow up. If something was decided upon during the discussion make sure that it gets implemented during the class. If an idea was put forth that you liked, but nothing is happening during class time, then the whole process was for naught.

Sometimes your teachers will not be responsive to your plight. When this occurs the best course of action is to seek out the next level of the school system. Go talk with a principal or a counselor. They may be able to help you more than your teacher.

I hope that this post has helped you to gain some confidence that will help you take charge of your education. Remember that teachers and administrators will not always see it your way. Try and find a group of supporting teachers or parents that can help vouch and support you. Good Luck in your endeavors!

Quote of The Day

An idea borrowed from the Poor, Starving, College Student Blog the quote of the day is a way to stimulate the brain and think about a short idea or phrase deeply, even if it is just for a little while.


You don’t need fancy highbrow traditions or money to really learn.
You just need people with the desire to better themselves.

– Adam Cooper and Bill Collage

This is one of the main struggles of education. How do you get students to want to learn? This can sometimes also be a problem for gifted students. What is the point of this work? Or, Why does this matter?

By tying education into real world activities and engaging and entertaining the student, you can nurture the desire in them.

How do you help fan the flames of desire in your gifted student? Reply using the comments.

Comments

A feature that I wanted to point out, the comments section seems to be overlooked by many of my visitors. I am not sure of the reason for this, but I would like to encourage the discussion of the topics that I post here. Part of this falls on me, as I am not sure that I have extended the invitation to comment. However, I would like to hear your feedback both positive and negative because I believe that discussion is an essential part of learning.

To comment, click the speech bubble under the title of the post, then scroll down and write away. Click submit to finish the process.

Thanks,

Royce