April 22, 2020

Agent Megan Schutt (Gifted Education)

Your lesson, should you choose to accept it, is to find strategies, resources and school models that support gifted learners. The special agent assigned to help you with this task is Megan Schutt, of Blaine Middle School, in Blaine, Washington.

According to the National Association for Gifted Children, the definition for giftedness is “Students with gifts and talents who perform - or have the capability to perform - at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains.” Whereas many see giftedness as truly a gift, one of my education professors once described being gifted as being “cursed with an adult brain in a child’s body”. While I can see both the benefits and the challenges for gifted individuals, the more I learn about giftedness, the more I see the many roadblocks to success embedded in a traditional school system. Fortunately there are educators like Megan Schutt who are searching out ways to best support their gifted students. 

 

We discussed:

  • Why she feels like a Jedi teaching online
  • How she has taught all core Middle School subjects
  • Why the struggle of teaching online has given her insights on how students feel working on collaborative projects
  • How she was stymied by gifted students at the beginning of her career
  • How Sir Ken Robinson inspired her through his TED talk
  • How having her own children gave Megan her first tool to help gifted students: engaging authentically
  • How the WAETAG (Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted) conference blew her mind
  • Her five favorite resources:
  • Why gifted kids are not the stereotypical ‘high flyers’
  • Why it’s beneficial for both students and teachers to use the cluster model
  • Why the school system has an obligation to educate and challenge all students, including gifted students
  • Her favorite Science unit: using hyperdocs
  • Her favorite Social Studies unit: project based learning in the community (inspired by Ted Dintersmith’s “What Schools Could Be”)
  • Why all students should have access to the same opportunities that are given to gifted students

 

For more on what innovative educators are doing around the world, check out www.lessonimpossible.com.  If you have suggestions for a teacher who would make an inspiring Lesson: Impossible guest, please email me at aviva.levin@gmail.com

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