Today I bring you some amazing advice courtesy of author and Honors Teacher, Matt Blackstone and his HS Honors class:
Matt Blackstone is a high school English teacher, baseball fanatic, and YA author. His debut novel, A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE, about a teen with O.C.D., is due out July 5th, 2011 with Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He recently got married and learned to do the dishes. He lives in New York City.
When I asked the Bookanistas if they would like to offer up some advice for my series, Matt enthusiastically asked if he could solicit advice from his kids and share that. Of course, I said….YES!!!
So here you have it – quotes from gifted and talented honor roll students at Mott Haven Village Preparatory High in Bronx,NY.
It’s difficult being on a higher academic level than my peers because people expect a lot out of you. But the competition is what fuels me . . . Still, you’re categorized as the smart kid, so you need to work hard to maintain it, and as soon as people see you don’t understand something they try to take advantage of it and make you feel inferior. . . At the beginning of the year, you want to impress your teachers, but then when they realize how accomplished you can be, they expect even more from you and when your work isn’t up to standard, they get mad at you, angrier than they would any other student.
~Justin , 11th grade
My teacher tells me, ‘I have a good math mind; you should use it more.
Being high skilled gets stressful, especially when you try your hardest and teachers still get disappointed in you, and then they want to stay after class . . . It gets annoying.
~ Caridad, 10th grade
The future image of myself is what inspires me to keep striving for success. . . I know what to expect of myself and how my papers should come out. I don’t feel extra pressure. It feels good to know that people expect a lot out of you, so it gives you motivation to do as well as you possibly can . . . When people are jealous of me, luck is the word they use to describe my success. It’s not luck; it’s hard work.
~ Omar, 9th grade
It’s important to stay focused and not let others influence you. I like reading on a higher reading level than other students because it lets me help them. . . Even though I’m high level, if I don’t pay attention in class, I won’t succeed in it.
~ Sheniqua, 9th grade
Reading at a higher level makes homework easier, but you still need to do it, you’re still a student. Everyone has responsibilities.
Even if you have high skills, you can’t be cocky; if you are, you’ll miss out on the important material. If you think you know it all, you could end up getting it all wrong. You shouldn’t take anything for granted.
~ Destiny, 9th grade
HAHA! See why I loved writing 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids! The advice Matt sent over is perfectly representative of the advice I received from a thousand kids ages 8 through 18. So inspirational and the very reason why I think the book is so good…because this kind of advice is on every single page!
Thanks Matt – and thanks kids for reminding me yet again how amazing these kids are.
Be sure to leave a comment for the kids and get automatically entered into the EPIC BLOG TOUR contest going on throughout the tour. Today’s stops – Shelli Johannes-Wells’ blog and Monica Morrell’s blog. Hope to see you there!