Today was my first class teaching the gifted kiddos from Allegheny County. I can now absolutely understand why my beloved Mr. Shank once told me he much prefers working with at-risk (read "naughty") kids than the gifted kids. Here's why: gifted kids are SMART! They know things!
There I was, with my loosely assembled lesson plan for the afternoon and my small list of topics to discuss in the essay I gave them. As soon as I gave them the chance, they steam-rolled right through all the big topics we hit in my GRADUATE workshop and took the whole analysis to a new level. I found myself taking notes. Not teaching notes. Reading notes. I was taking notes based on my students' comments. Kids are too damn smart.
This made me decide one very important thing: Next time, there will be no discussion of already published authors. I'm moving right in to making them talk about their own work. Which is mostly why they signed up for the course anyway. At the end of class, they asked me to bring them something of mine to read. No freaking way! Are they crazy?? They'll eat me alive!
I told them to googol me, so now I have to go change my name and scour the web for all references to me so they can't see what a miserable failure I am. If they can reach right into the heart of established genie (that's jean-ye, plural genius) like Mary Roach and Gretchen likelier, they would walk all over a newcomer like me.
What seems even more disturbing to me than their knowing more than me is the fact that they are paying to be in the class. Someone decided THEY should pay ME to guide them. I am going to take my paycheck for this month's session and spend it on a guidebook of lesson plans to stimulate absurdly intelligent people. And hope that one of my students didn't write said book.