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Highlights from Jim Delisle’s Lecture

January 29, 2012

The Bozeman Public Schools’ PEAKS program recently sponsored an excellent evening with Dr. Jim Delisle, a national authority on giftedness. Focused more on the emotional needs of gifted kids, the lecture addressed the adults who support gifted kids–primarily parents and teachers. The full Powerpoint of his presentation is available on the PEAKS website here.

Dr. Jim Delisle

Dr. Delisle focused on four primary areas that adults should stress with the gifted kids in their lives:

  1. Understand what giftedness is and is not.

  2. Know the distinction between “better at” and “better than”.
  3. Take charge of your own education.
  4. Appreciate that less than perfect is more than adequate.

He also offered four things adults should NEVER say to gifted kids:

  1. “Your report card is good, but…” (If there are areas of concern, address them another time.)
  2. “This should be easy for a smart kid like you.” (What if it’s not?)
  3. “I don’t care about your grades. I just want you to do your best.” (Use the phrase, “I just want you to try” instead.)
  4. “You’re not working up to your potential.” (How does anyone know what their potential is?)

Dr. Delisle shared what he considers to be the best definition of giftedness, one that goes along with the idea that giftedness is something you are, not something you do:

 “Giftedness is a greater awareness, a greater sensitivity, and a greater ability to understand and transform perceptions into intellectual and emotional experiences.”

-Annemarie Roeper, the founder of the Roeper School for gifted children

Thanks so much to Wendy Morical and the Bozeman Public Schools for sponsoring the excellent lecture!

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