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Empowering student voice through the four steps to successful self-advocacy.

Empowering student voice through the four steps to successful self-advocacy.

is the process of recognizing and meeting the needs specific to your learning ability without compromising the dignity of yourself or others.

(Loring  Brinckerhoff, 1994)

For gifted learners, there are 4 simple steps.

Step 1:  Understand your rights and responsibilities

You have the right to a rigorous education, that stretches your skills and thinking every day.

You have a right

  • to be in classes that are challenging and interesting

  • to know about giftedness and why you’re in or should be in an enriched or accelerated class

  • to make mistakes and “not do your best” if you feel like it

  • to be with other kids who really understand you

  • to be treated with respect by friends, teachers, and parents

  • to be different.

 (Judy Galbraith, The Survival Guide for Gifted Kids)

Gifted Children's Bill of Rights from the National Association for Gifted Children

    Your responsibilities include taking an active role in creating your educational plan and developing the attributes of good character:

    • Turn in work on time

    • Listen with interest

    • Cooperate in a group 

    • Be neat

    • Work hard

    • Complete assignments

    • Be accurate

    • Enjoy school

    • Stay alert

    • Be considerate

    • Enjoy learning

    • Be organized

    Step 2:  Assess and reflect on your learner profile: abilities and interests, strengths and weaknesses, learning styles and habits.

    Consider your traits in 5 different areas:

    • Cognitive Functioning Information

    • Learning Strengths Information

    • Personality Characteristics 

    • Learning Preferences

    • Interests

    (Karen Rogers, Re-Forming Gifted Education)


    Step 3:  Match your attributes to options and opportunities.

    What would you like to change?  What are you looking for? More challenging work?  Interaction with like-ability peers?  Time to explore personal interests?  Changes at home or school that support your unique needs?

    Some possibilities for those who want a more appropriate academic challenge:

    • Alternate Assignments

    • Online Learning

    • Independent Study

    • Mentorship

    • Curriculum Compacting/Pre-testing

    • With-in Class Grouping

    • Subject Acceleration

    • Concurrent Enrollment

    • Grade Acceleration

    • AP, IB and Honors Courses

    • College Courses in High School

    • Post Secondary Options

    • Summer Program/Semester Schools

    • Gap Year

    • Early College Admission


    Step 4:  Connect with advocates who can support your goals

    It's important to know who you can turn to and how to be diplomatic yet effective when asking for help.


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