An underachiever is a student who is not achieving to their potential.
The underachieving gifted student is too common in classrooms today due to various factors , of which many we can change.
Why underachieving gifted students?
Many might think if a student is gifted then they find work easy, always want to do their best and are happy.
But this isn’t always the case.
In a school context, underachievement occurs when there is a discrepancy between expected achievement given one’s academic potential and actual performance that one demonstrates.
Identification isn’t done well
Many teachers may not be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to identify a gifted underachiever. Gifted underachievers often come about due to:
- a curriculum that is not challenging enough (so what is the point in trying?)
- they want to fit in with their peers(friends over grades)
- Perfectionism (I’d rather get one sentence correct than a whole page of mess)
- Lack of support at home (no one cares how well I do anyway)
So what can we do?
- Ensure teachers have adequate support so they feel comfortable identifying gifted students and then challenging them (I can help here – firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Ensure adequate and regular testing is done all year round from Kindergarten.
- Ensure that the curriculum always has options for students to be challenged.
- Ensure the curriculum is open ended, hands on and tailored to more students needs and learning styles.
Watch out for Part 2 of underachieving students soon – or sign up to my email list!