Teacher, Please Understand My Deep Thinker

By Teresa Currivan, LMFT, Parent Coach

I know you love Emily. She’s sweet. 

But what you may not understand is that she thinks very deeply about things. Yes, the stars, the flowers, the birds. Especially the birds. This is not a side thing – an ability unrelated to schoolwork. The way she thinks impacts the work she produces, and in some cases, fails to produce. 

When she is taking a multiple-choice test, she works hard, (or actually not so hard, she enjoys this thinking she does,) to find reasons why each choice could be the right one. This takes a long time. And often does not give the answers you are looking for. But I’m not sure it gives you an accurate assessment of her knowledge, either. 

When she is daydreaming and looking out the window, or fidgeting, or switching windows while in your zoom room, it might be because she knows what you are teaching. Let me rephrase that — she may know some of what you are teaching or all of what you are teaching, but what I do know is that she likes making connections with what she learns before you are done talking. In your lesson about the missions in California, she immediately went to how the bricks were made — and created a recipe with straw and clay and was gone before you got to how the missions impacted the Native Americans of the time, (which she became fascinated with later. Much, much later after any class discussion or quizzes, or reports were due. But fascinated nonetheless, and very deeply so.) I apologize. But also, I don’t. She’s always learning, but on her own terms.

When she is called on in class to answer a question, she is unable to answer, not because she hasn’t read the material – but because she has questions of her own that need to be answered first. She’s not doing this on purpose. She’s just very interested in what she’s focused on and letting in an outside bit of information — even in the form of a question, is complicated to unravel for her until she gets her own questions answered first. Please excuse her. Please don’t dismiss her. 

Children who do well in school are good at finding ways to answer your questions. That’s a skill set. A wonderful skill set, but not one that Emily has at the present time. She knows so much about the birds, the stars, the flowers, and now the missions, thanks to you — but please understand how vast her inner world is.

©Teresa Currivan 2021


Teresa Currivan is a mother, licensed marriage and family therapist, school therapist, TeresaCurrivanand coach at Help My Child Thrive Coaching LLC and The Right Place Learning Center. She is the author of the book, My Differently Tuned-In Child: The Right Place for Strength-Based Solutions. She is recognized for The Currivan Protocol™ Assessment specifically designed for differently wired children. She has connections to SF Bay Area schools and gives talks to parent groups and faculty there. She leads support groups for parents of differently wired children at The Right Place Learning Center, (Now on Zoom Video Call). She has been published on sites such as Mother.ly, Filter Free Parents, and is a blogger at GHF (Gifted Homeschoolers Forum,) and Hoagies Gifted Education page. Follow her on her Facebook at  fb.me/TeresaCurrivanCoaching.

**Teresa offers assessments and coaching. Fill out the contact form, below, or email her to schedule your free 20-minute consultation.**

Email: TeresaCurrivan@gmail.com

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This is part of a blog hop over at the amazing Hoagies Gifted Education Page. Check them HoagiesIfOnlyBlogHopout, Hoagies Blog Hop: If You Only Knew….on the theme of professionals and others dealing with gifted children. If only the doctor knew, if only the psychologist knew, if only the teacher knew, if only the Scout parents knew…