Gifted children; sometimes you miss the signal?

(Highly) gifted children often do not show at school that they have high intelligence. They even perform below par, do not want to work and thus form a difficult group at school that teachers lose control over. How did that happen?


A girl in group 3 does not want to work and indicates at home that she would like to go back to group 2 because she wants to play alone again. Her intelligence is doubted. But one and one is not two in this case! Children can indeed be gifted or even gifted and you don’t see it in the results. So as a teacher you miss the signal somewhere.

Recognizing (high) giftedness

Is performance on paper the only way to see (high) talent? In other words: you can discover it by what is scored? And perhaps also the degree of eagerness to learn.? The answer is no. There are at least two aspects to consider: firstly, the child adapts very quickly to the average of his or her class. Being an exception is inherently scary for a child. The possibility that you will be out of line and possibly be bullied is so great that a child realizes what the norm is.
For example, there are gifted children who suddenly start talking crookedly at home in group 3. ,I bought that, mom,, you hear them say. The parent falls off his chair in surprise, because his son already said that he had bought something before he was two years old. At school it can mean that a child will make mistakes in one form or another; dictation, arithmetic, where you first saw that he or she had mastered it. But others make mistakes too, so that’s the norm.
Secondly, there are children with a great fear of failure. Despite their intelligence, they want to be able to master what needs to be done in one go.
That makes them anxious and greatly hinders learning. The bar is high, if not very high. that can result in avoiding assignments and the desire for the uncomplicated nature of playing.

The inner world of (highly) gifted children

The potential of these children is often translated into an enormous vocabulary, which is used from a very young age. They are able to have a conversation at a very early age, can look forward but also back, see consequences, make connections and remember absolutely everything. They have a rich inner world. But does that come out at school? Is attention paid to this or is a judgment expressed about it: smart-aleck, stubborn. Let’s see what you can do!
These children actually live in a completely different world, but they have a keen sense of whether they can come out with it.


Every child wants to be taken seriously. A (highly) gifted child wants that too. But to be seen in his or her individuality is a greater desire. And this child has a self-righteousness like no other. Can it show and hear this wisdom? Without a shrug and judgment?
But how should you translate that into the classroom, where cognitive work is central and the teacher is mainly concerned with working according to the requirements of the Inspectorate? How do you connect, how do you look and how do you interpret behavior?


The key could well be contact. Connecting to the experience that is reflected in the statements the child makes, the topics he or she broaches in the circle, the choices a child makes to take a completely different topic during a speech. But especially talking to a child about how he views his work. Questions: how can I help you get more out of your work and, above all, show that you see that there is a world behind him that suspects much more. Praise him if he or she knows a lot about something, give him assignments to look something up on the computer, because you know he or she can do it very well. But also see his or her fear of failure. Offer small steps, provide positive encouragement, appreciate what is happening, encourage.

I may be there

Looking at children from your heart. Seeing that every child believes in themselves for who they are. Not just linking wisdom to school results,
but also to being a child. Every child, every person is unique. Whoever you are: you can be there!