In my very first post here, I talked about how it felt to be labeled “gifted” as a child. I felt vindication when my second grade teacher called my mom and asked her if I wanted to be a part of the “Enrichment Program” (also called Mentally Gifted Minors -MGM). Once a week, we would leave our classroom about an hour before school was out. We learned some Spanish, learned about Mexico, did some cooking, and a variety of art projects. We did special activities having to do with what we were learning.
In later grades, we got to go on field trips –just us, the kids from the gifted programs. I remember one year, taking a long bus ride to Edwards Air Force Base to see the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
The activities also changed a bit as we got older. We learned a lot about mythology. I think it helped me to appreciate many of the books and films with mythological themes, on a deeper level.
In my last year of elementary school, the facilitator for our gifted program, started going around and met with us at our schools, rather than have us take busses to one location. This was possible due to budget cuts, thanks to California Prop. 13, but also, many of us complained that we didn’t like missing so much of our regular school day, only to have to make up what we missed. We’d have to do our homework for our regular classes, plus, we often had homework from our gifted program. I don’t care how smart or gifted a person is, one thing seems to be universal: Nobody likes homework!
By junior high, the gifted program was relegated to an elective that you could take. I didn’t take it. I heard they played educational games and Dungeons as Dragons for most of the class period.
In high school, we could take “advanced” classes, though they weren’t the same as the AP classes that my oldest daughter took when she was in High school 2005 – 2009.
Were any of you in gifted programs while in school? What were your experiences?