Tidbit # 18-Keeping up with the Curveballs of Gifted Scholars

July 26, 2023

Everyone says that there are no two days that are the same as a teacher. That is the truth. You never know what can happen when teaching tiny humans. However, for the most part, teachers generally like to have some sort of plan. To know when they are doing what, and the logistics of the day. Without that, the day would be chaos. So often, we have those students that will see our plan and take it further than we could have ever expected. When you throw gifted learners in the mix… you REALLY never know what you are going to get. Most times, they throw us a curveball, something not expected, that redirects the plan. 

Recently I was reading Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar. At the end of the first chapter, the mean teacher, Mrs. Gorf is turned into an apple. The schoolyard teacher, Louis, eats the apple. When this happened, the student reading the paragraph could not get through it. He immediately screamed CANNIBALISM! Someone new to working with gifted learners may have been surprised by this, but me? Not in the slightest. The connection is relevant and not one that I would have developed on my own. Impressive, really. 

Many teachers would view these “curveballs” as interruptions that get in the way of the lesson. While the show must go on, there is so much value in following through with the ideas that come naturally to your learners’ brains. I encourage you to take a moment the next time there is a curveball and consider the value of investigating further. Let the learning lead down a new path, you never know what will come from it! 

These kiddos are throwing curveballs so often that curveballs are to be expected. 

It is so magical to see how my students’ minds make unique, and sometimes startling connections. 

Teachers:  let them throw you for a loop – those loops will teach you so much more than you could have imagined. It is up to us as educators to decide if that curveball will be a strike or a homerun. 

Mrs. Rose 

Alexia Rose Lawrence

Lead Faculty @ Scholars Academy for the Gifted, Returning for Year Three

Teaching Licensure in K-6 Elementary Education and Academically & Intellectually Gifted (AIG)

Board Member & Podcast Host of, They’ll Be Fine, NC Association for the Gifted (NGAGT)