Building Resilience in Gifted Learners
with BCESC Gifted Coordinator Cathy Chenoweth
The Science of Resilience (video)
We all know that helping students build resilience is key to their long term success, but how do you help gifted students build resilience? How does a student who doesn’t ever encounter academic struggles learn to persevere through a challenge? How do students who never fail learn to cope with failure? 

I have been reading a lot about resilience, especially in terms of gifted learners. The research is pretty clear - there are some important risk and protective factors in helping our gifted students develop resilience. Based on those factors, there are some important things we as educators can do to help gifted students build resilience.

  • Develop meaningful relationships with our students 
  • Create a network of mentors and supports for students outside of school
  • Identify risk factors early and put supports in place for those students
  • Connect with parents and families and involve them in the learning process
  • Create an emotionally safe space for learning 
  • Honor, appreciate and include cultural backgrounds and identities
  • Help students learn about themselves and their own strengths and weaknesses 
Teachers need to communicate regularly, thoroughly and proactively with parents. In my classroom, this looked like early-school-year phone calls home with only positive things to say about each child, weekly newsletters explaining what was going on in our classroom and why, and being very responsive to parent communication. 

Teaching gifted students about their giftedness and their responsibility for developing those gifts is also very important. When they learn more about learning and realize the capability that brains have, they see setbacks in a different way. Being intentional about teaching a growth mindset is key.

It’s actually easier than it seems to incorporate small changes into our classrooms that will help our most capable students build resilience.
Want to read further about this topic? Check out these resources:

Coping 101: Building Persistence and Resilience in Gifted Children - 5 key changes to help build resilience in gifted students

Resilience and Gifted Children - Maybe gifted students are more resilient than we think.

12 Ways Teachers Can Build Their Own Resilience - Because teachers need resilience too!

If you would like to learn more about meeting the needs of gifted students, please contact me.
(513) 896-2322 office
(513) 379-3619 cell