Educators and parents often see gifted children as inherently academically resilient. Many of our smartest students seem to reach learning benchmarks with little instructional help. Some even wow us with their obscure knowledge and conceptual understanding that far exceeds grade level expectations. With virtually the entire country now schooling-at-home during the coronavirus crisis, it’s easy to see why some teachers may not be worrying about the learning needs of their gifted students.
Gifted children, just like all children living through times of trauma, benefit from educational practices that meet their academic needs, as well as their social-emotional needs. Simply: Children cannot learn if they do not feel physically, emotionally, or psychologically safe.
Supporting academic resilience with our gifted children requires parents and teachers to first examine the intersection of individual and family support characteristics of each child. Gifted students who possess a deep sense of justice or empathy for others may not be available to learn at the same rate and depth as before the pandemic started. Reassuring these children that it’s okay if their learning slows down will be critical to their overall health, well-being, and ability to successfully return to academics once the coronavirus crisis passes.
Alessa Giampaolo Keener will present the basic principles of trauma-informed learning, as it applies to school-at-home and homeschooling during COVID19; address the social-emotional needs of three different categories of gifted families; and offer tips and reassurance on how parents and teachers can support a gifted child’s learning needs during a time of crisis.