Indicators that a gifted child is not supported by the school
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some indicators that I have quickly put together for parents that will allow them to identify that the school is not taking care of their gifted children as it should and is not adapting its methods and supervision. This is despite the fact that the national education system claims to do everything possible to support them according to their needs and the recommendations of specialists.
Of course, nothing dispenses with having a good knowledge of the specificities of your gifted children, particular or shared. I therefore encourage you to get information and training on the subject, as this is probably the best way to accompany your child serenely and intelligently into his adult life.
It is not a question of defining how many indicators you need to take into account to be sure of the situation and determine if your child's needs are known, taken into account and provided for.
It's about using common sense, because not everything is necessary and just because you identify a few things in this list doesn't mean that your child is not being properly supported.
As you will see from some of the indicators, it is necessary to know your child's specificities, but above all his real level of knowledge, especially in the different subjects, which invariably involves personal work, on weekends and during the vacations, via revision books and exercise books allowing him to progress at his own pace and to set himself challenges. This will allow you to know the overall level of his knowledge and to compare it with what is offered in class in order to evaluate the extent of the gap.
These indicators are not ranked in order of importance.
You will find some indicators that may seem redundant, but I wanted, or at least I tried, to make sure that they allow a faithful representation of certain cases.
If you notice any omissions, please send me a message so that I can complete the list.
- The teachers will tell you about the heterogeneities of most gifted students, if you dig deeper you will have the opportunity to see that they do not clearly understand what they are talking about and paraphrase the psychologist out of context.
- Discussions with the teacher(s) show you that his specificity is not understood since nothing in the discourse refers to it or presents elements of differentiation that should be highlighted. This is one of the best indicators of the degree of knowledge on gifted children's specificities and the knowledge and implementation of the most relevant accommodations.
- If the teacher complains about lack of attention or that he is hyperactive and can't stay in place.
- If the teacher penalizes the presentation of the work or the neatness of the assessment or exercise rather than simply encouraging him to do better.
- If the teacher ignores issues related to the assignment, lacks of clarity, precision and misunderstanding leading to a false result.
- If the teacher doesn't give the student anything specific to do that will allow him to go deeper into the exercise when the student has finished before the others.
- He does the same exercises as the other students, well below his real level. You know this level because you have assessed it yourself through homework. For example, in primary school, he is asked to do a one-digit multiplication without a carryover using the table, whereas he knows how to do five-digit multiplication with a carryover without needing a table or a draft.
- He takes the same assessments as the other students.
- The practice of taking assessments is different, notably by giving priority to oral questions when necessary.
- The evaluations or the notations do not seem to take into account the possible redundancy of the exercises or their extreme simplicity which could explain a lack of interest and a bad answer.
- The evaluations do not take into account the errors of comprehension or misinterpretation of the instructions while the concept is assimilated.
- He has the same homework.
- He exactly the same program and at the same speed as the others.
- He is not offered any further study.
- He does not have a specific timetable.
- The meaning of what is learned is not explained.
- He does not attend any other class.
- The teacher does not create level groups within the class.
- The teacher does not give him/her a role as a tutor to another student.
- He is not offered any specific support, possibly with the help of a supervisor who would come specially to the classroom a few days a week to help him with certain tasks or exercises.
- Exercises and homework, week after week, are repetitive, and the student is made to repeat many times what he already knows how to do.
- The teacher does not favor memorization strategies that rely on sense or logic.
- The student's skills or knowledge are not taken into account, for example in math, even if he has the level of a higher year level, he is made to do the exercises of the level of the class in which he is registered.
- There is a discrepancy between what the child tells you about his friends and what the teachers say. The teachers feel that the child fits in well with the group, while the child complains that the others do not want to play with him or that he is excluded from the groups. This can show Lack of supervision or discernment, because they have not understood his difference and the need to be very attentive to his emotional well-being.
- The teacher does not encourage him, admonishes him, only expects him to do better.
- His creativity and intuition are not rewarded: in math again, if he knows the result in his head and does not explain his reasoning, this will not be valued by the teacher. (The problem of relation to the norm, the need to conform to expectations). This must be valued and at the same time he must be encouraged to play the intellectual game of transcribing and breaking down his reasoning, as if he had to explain it to someone else.
- The teacher does not encourage work on understanding the subject and remains above all anchored on the acquisition of knowledge and its faithful restitution. (rote type.)
- Only one class jump is proposed.
- Quarterly assessments show that concepts are not acquired even though you know they are (must be validated on your side by the student's personal work and exercise results).
- The said assessments do not offer any written explanation indicating that the teacher is aware of the limits of this assessment and the assessments on the acquisition of knowledge.
- There is no consideration of affinities or buddies for class composition.
I encourage you to be measured in the evaluation of all these indicators to ensure that you are basing your observations on reality and not on impressions...