What it is Like to Teach a Twice-Exceptional Child

What it is Like to Teach a Twice-Exceptional Child

I recently wrote a note to a student telling her how much I admired her efforts. She told me it was a little sappy.

I admit it, I am sappy. I am a happy, glass-half-full, in-love–with-the-world kind of person. Which is probably the best kind of person to work with 2e children, since they call it like they see it.

I know plenty of people who might have been hurt by such a comment, but I was thrilled. It represents a level of trust. We have a relationship that allows her to feel she can be authentic.

You have to have a pretty thick skin to get along with Twice-exceptional (2e) children. They have an uncanny skill for finding your insecurities. They will expose your underbelly before you even knew you were letting it hang out. You definitely have to be the grown up.

Every time I meet a new student, I take time to get to know them. I look for things that I genuinely like about them. I want them to feel my true admiration and affection. It pays off when things get rough.

Twice-exceptional children can be very hard to work with. They can try your patience. They often refuse your best ideas. Their judgments can be harsh. They have contrary opinions and no patience for the status quo. They are often oblivious to the feelings of others.

But they are also wonderful. Many have a razor sharp sense of humor. They often have amazing insight and clarity. They make unique observations about the world around them. They can be very empathetic and kind. They are fiercely independent. The thing I like the best about working with 2e children is that you too can be your authentic self.

It is exciting to work with 2e children — really! There is never a dull moment. If you want a career that keeps your mind challenged, your heart on your sleeve, and your body busy — choose to work with 2e children.

-Dr. Melanie Hayes, Big Minds Unschool Founder & Director