If you are reading this blog, it is pretty safe to assume that you are an above average student. You try hard, listen in class, and your results prove that. Unfortunately, with this kind of success comes a certain amount of alienation from your peers. You may be insulted or bullied about your results, or your classmates may be nicer and tell you how great your work is. Many gifted students are forewarned of the bullying they may experience, but are not taught to deal with compliments.
I’m going to give you three examples, one of which is the best way to approach positive feedback from your classmates.
I met a student like this when we were about 12, and her personality has stuck with me. Not only was she a great student, she was a wonderful person. Unfortunately, her self-esteem often prevented her from reaching her full potential. If you were to tell her how great her work was, she’d scoff at you, and tell you it was horrible. For someone who thought that she failed so often, she had a bizarre phobia of not succeeding, which stopped her from taking on more advanced work.
I met Student B last year. She was a hard-working student, always trying to do a harder work. The side-effect was that she thought herself superior to her classmates, regardless of their intelligence. This ego made her unpopular, even with her friends. She could not interact with the people around her, because she didn’t give them a chance. While she could memorize facts and formulas, she could not use these in the real world, or apply them to situations. Schools these days are not just focused or rote memorization, they want to see their students use their knowledge to solve problems.
I know two people like this, and they are two of the most caring people I know. They’re smart, but they also engage with their peers. They know when to accept a compliment, and when to shake it down. If they haven’t really worked for something, they won’t appreciate you telling them it’s great. This is the ideal we’re talking about. For the two that I know, they haven’t worked on this, they were just born to be humble, and brilliant. Fortunately, this is something you can work on.
Student C sounds like a great person, don’t they? But how can you become more like them? What do you think? How do you deal with compliments, or even criticism? Next week, we’ll talk about how you approach feedback, and some methods that I’ll suggest too. So have your say in the comments.
About Katie WalkerHey, I'm a student. I'm into web development, so currently I'm working on my blog, a few Tumblr themes, and a few web apps for various purposes. It's exciting stuff.
habits of mind
- Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
- Creating, Imagining, and innovating
- Finding Humour
- Gathering Data through all the Senses
- Listening with Understanding and Empathy
- Managing Impulsivity
- Questioning and Posing Problems
- Remaining Open to Continuous Learning
- Responding with Wonderment and Awe
- Striving for Accuracy
- Taking Responsible Risks
- Thinking about Thinking
- Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
- Thinking Flexibly
- Thinking Interdependently