We’re back with Part 2 of our episode talking to Kintara Phillips about navigating schools and education with gifted kids.
In these episodes we ask Kintara to answer all of those questions you have about how to talk to your child’s teacher, what questions to ask a new school, when is it time to move on, what kind of education is your child going to need and so much more… there was so much we have split it into two episodes!
Kintara Phillips – “Are they getting a hundred percent on all their tests?
Are they getting perfect marks on all of their English essays? Which on the surface parents would be like, well, that’s amazing. Like what are you complaining about?
I’m complaining because if my kid, with no effort, gets 100%, could they have gotten a hundred at the start of the unit? The conversations I have with teachers are like, I’m a happy parent when my kids test results are around 75, 80%. It means you’ve pitched it well. We’ve got that point where there’s stuff he doesn’t know.”
Sophia Elliott – “Yeah. The sacred ground of the stuff they don’t know. Absolutely.”
- Emergence Education Website
- Emergence Education Facebook
- Emergence Education Instagram
- James & Susie Youtube Video
- “An allegory about what happens to smart kids who skate through elementary school, and don’t get opportunities to develop persistence, grit, and the true self-confidence that comes from knowing how to tackle a genuine challenge.”
- Heather’s Podcast – what happens when you don’t learn how to learn – #033 [GTN Awareness Week] #ActuallyGifted Adult with Heather Cox
- State Gifted Associations – Australia (AAEGT) – USA
Kintara Phillips worked as a Secondary English teacher for 21 years across government, independent and catholic schools. After a principal suggested that her ‘gut feeling’ about extending the gifted students in her class needed to be backed by some evidence – always the overachiever, she completed a Masters in Gifted Education at UNSW in 2016 and presented said evidence at the International Gifted Conference later the same year (and yes, her gut feeling was right). Leaving the classroom in 2021, frustrated by the restrictive system and desperate to find a way to shake things up, she now finds herself almost halfway through a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and plans to complete honours then a Masters in Educational Psychology sometime before she turns 50.
Earlier this year, Kintara was formally diagnosed with ADHD, confirming her place in the2e community and further strengthening her passion for supporting young people and their families, but also educating teachers to be able to provide better inclusions and educational outcomes for gifted and 2e learners. Longer term she hopes to blend her years of classroom experience and psychology training to bridge the gap between schools, psychologists and gifted education and would love nothing more than to see her name mentioned when parents ask about for recommendations for a psychologist experienced with giftedness in the future.
Kintara currently teaches in the Masters of Teaching at two Victorian Universities, and hopes that by employing the butterfly effect and mentioning gifted learners frequently, even if it’s not in the course outline, to the future teacher’s she works with, that perhaps a little shake up may occur in schools sooner than later.
In all her spare time, Kintara and her teacher bestie, have started to build and nurture a small business specifically positioned to support gifted students navigate school, help families plan and advocate and work in schools with teachers providing professional learning opportunities that build understanding of gifted learning needs.
Hit play and let’s get started!
[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello, and welcome back to part two of navigating education with gifted kids with kin Tara Phillips. We started this conversation last week and. I had to make it part one part two, because we just kept talking and, but it’s such a great conversation. We cover all sorts of different topics. Lots of those, quite frankly, the frequently asked questions about education.
[00:00:29] It’s our privilege to have Conterra joining us in these podcasts to talk about. Just everything that you want to know. I, I did have a thought for a moment. I should really try Itemize this a bit more, but to be honest, if I did that, I would just never get these podcasts published. So my apologies, bear with me.
[00:00:51] Oh, trust me. It’s worth listening to the whole thing. Uh, can Tara Phillips our guests last week as well. A secondary English teacher for more than 21 years. Uh, with a master’s in gifted education. Uh, university of new south Wales. She now has emergence education, where she works with gifted kids in their families.
[00:01:15] She also does professional development in school. She also teaches at university prospective teachers. And drops in a lot about gifted kids during that process. It’s a delight to have Conterra. On the podcast again, this week in part two of navigating education with gifted kids, I’m super excited. There’s lots of great stuff in this episode.
[00:01:40] Drew office align on our Facebook page or on our gifted kids. Instagram, let us know what you think. Is there anything we haven’t covered in these two episodes? Because. I kept asking Conterra those questions and she kept So I would love to hear if there’s anything we’ve missed. You can subscribe with our gifted kids.
[00:02:00] Dot com. And never miss an episode and we’ll keep you up to date. Uh, but we do not spam. I have an inbox full of emails. So. I probably do the wrong thing and just send you
[00:02:15] Um, So join in the conversation we would love to hear from you. And if these episodes have been helpful, which I’m sure they will be. Thank you. Conterra so much for joining us. It’s been an absolute delight. Talking to you in these pod cars and being able to share this with everyone, because I know there’s so much here that I just would have loved to have known when I was studying out on this journey. And it’s a real privilege to be able to share that
[00:02:45] So that other parents out there, hopefully you listening. I hope this really helps. Um, and let me know. If there are any, is, is possibly anything that we haven’t covered. And I’m sure we I’m Russell Conterra and get it back on for another episode. So, thank you very much. Enjoy the episode and we’ll see you again soon. Bye.
[00:03:39] So question for you. And
[00:03:42] so, uh,
[00:03:44] so given for, for those parents who have gone out and gotten an assessment yeah. And assuming that that assessment is accurate, cuz we won’t go down that route, but you know, they’re, they’re not always, you know, there can be issues with them, but assuming the educational cognitive assessment or IQ test that you’ve done is a good reflection of your child talking about giftedness.
[00:04:07] So giftedness is, you know, you technically that top 10%. But then if you look at standard deviations, there’s a lot between, as you know, the 90th percentile and like the 99.9 or even the 95th. Yeah. You know, and so what I tried to get my head around for my kids was okay, given where my child is, you know, between that 90 and 99.9, can that provide some information for me as to what kind of educational, uh, environment they need or accommodations they might need because and, and some parents will say, look, my kids at this school, they’re pretty good.
[00:04:54] But you know, should I be X, Y, Z? And it’s kind of like, well, if they’re happy is a good indicator, but I also think if you’ve got that information and it’s accurate, it can give you a clue as to what they might need. And so what I’m kind of getting here is that the difference between what someone at who’s is very much around the, the 90th and low 90 percentiles might need versus someone at the 99.9 kind of thing.
[00:05:22] And is that something you have experienced?
[00:05:25] Kintara Phillips: It is, and that’s the thing like that, that 90th percentile, that top 10% class of 25 kids, theoretically, should. Between two and three kids in every class. Absolutely.
[00:05:37] Sophia Elliott: They’re there it’s like 10% of student population. Yeah. And I can’t
[00:05:40] Kintara Phillips: remember if it was MI who used the term or Susan Smith who is another beautiful standup, wonderful woman from U NS.
[00:05:49] W who, who referred to that 10%? That 90% of is just our garden variety, gifted gift. Right. And I just picture a garden home, like a really cute little right. And those garden variety gift they’re everywhere. And I say to teachers, if you are not aware of they’re in your class right now. Yeah. Just you they’re there, you haven’t they’re there.
[00:06:12] And we tend to they’re they’re the kids that often in terms of classwork and differentiation and stuff, you can treat like you’re high achievers. Yeah. And they’re, they, they tend to be okay. Yeah. Right. Yeah. But then yeah, you get to the, the 99th, 98, 90 ninth percenters. And you, you know, and a side of teachers, the reality is you may encounter one or two kids at that level across your entire teaching career.
[00:06:44] Yeah. They, they’re not as scattered. They’re not as frequent. They’re not as you know, so they, it it’s trickier, you know, to, to work with those kids. And I think a lot of, a lot of that in terms of, you know, other. All teachers having a masters of gifted ed level understanding of stuff that the best advice I can give to teachers in that situation is listen to the parents.
[00:07:12] Mm-hmm the parent knows their child better than you ever will. Yeah. Right. And admit, I don’t know what to do with this 99 percenter. Like, you know, what works at home? What do you think? What let’s work together? What do we need here? Yeah. What can we try? What do you find might help? Because, and you know, like you were saying that even that percentile, you know, you look at, you look at the bell curve and as much as you hate statistics and norm, it’s not
[00:07:44] Sophia Elliott: everything, but not everything, you know,
[00:07:47] Kintara Phillips: it’s helpful to conceptualize for teachers.
[00:07:52] So two standard deviations below the norm is an IQ of 70. Yeah. Now an IQ of 70 qualifies students to meet the needs for enrollment at a special education setting. Yeah. Now in order to teach in a special education setting. Yeah. You need additional qualifications as an educator. Yeah. I, I couldn’t go and teach.
[00:08:17] In a special school. I don’t have the additional qualifications to do that. Yeah. So if at one end of the scale, we’re saying two standard deviations from the norm means you need extra training to be allowed to be trusted professionally with these
[00:08:36] standard deviations. The other way from the norm is an IQ of one 30 mm-hmm , which is 10 percenters. Yeah. But there’s no equivalent there’s no, yeah. You need extra training to be trusted with these children. Yeah. So that’s problematic in itself. Inequity. Yeah. Inequity. And I think, you know, like you were saying about if, if the, if the data you’ve got’s right.
[00:09:05] If the testing’s right. Yeah. You know, you know, these things and you know, is your, is your kid happy at school? And you know, these are the kids who, they’re not our 99%, you know, we’re talking about our garden varieties and I happy being successful. Is it all kind of going okay, should I do anything? Like, do I need to do anything?
[00:09:25] The things that, that I kind of look for is looking at, and these are conversations I’ve had with my parent hat on cuz that’s where my kid sits. My kids, just a garden variety, gifty. Is he bringing hi? Are they bringing home a hundred percent on everything? Are they getting a hundred percent on all their tests?
[00:09:41] Mm-hmm are they getting perfect marks on all of their English essays? Are they, which on the surface parents would be like, well, that’s amazing. Like what complaining about I’m complaining because if my kid, yeah. With no, with no effort with, could they have gotten a hundred at the start of the unit, like, you know, the conversations I have with teachers are like, I I’m, I’m a happy parent when my kids test results around 75, 80% mm-hmm right.
[00:10:12] It means you’ve you’ve, you’ve pitched it. We’ve got that point where there’s stuff, he doesn’t know.
[00:10:19] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. The sacred ground of the stuff they don’t know. Absolutely.
[00:10:23] Kintara Phillips: Yep. Yes. And you know, so even those kids who, who are happy and are success, but if they’re bringing home perfect marks or you have the conversation where, you know, often, you know, my could get some car and what did you learn today?
[00:10:37] And he’d be like nothing, you know, and with the teacher hat on you, like, don’t be a pain in the ass. Like you’ve been, and he’s like, no, literally nothing. Everything we did today, I already knew. And for a lot of that’s the reality. Yeah. And, and they’re compliant. So we don’t.
[00:10:55] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. And I mean, there’s research out there quite convincing research that will show that for a gifted kid for 80% or more of the year, they’re not actually learning anything new.
[00:11:07] Yeah. So finding that sweet spot of this is why we talk about acceleration and sometimes radical acceleration, cuz you’re trying to find that spot where they’re actually learning things that they don’t know. Yeah. So, so I, I love the norm idea because I do in my head visual, I’ve got this lovely little garden party of norms.
[00:11:28] And they’re they’re at school. They may, they may be somewhere near their sweet spot with a bit of, you know, a class here or, you know, something a bit harder there. But, but the, I like, I think if you’ve got one of those kids like fricking Bravo because there’s more options, right? Yeah. And you, there’s more likely gonna find a school that has the pullout program or a gifted program or there’s, you know, some mentoring slash tutoring that they can do or whatever their special area might be.
[00:12:00] You can do a bit of that and a bit of that and they’re happy. Yeah. You know, and it’s kind of meeting their needs and they’re getting a challenge. They’re learning how to learn, which I think is the big thing for a gifted kid. Ah,
[00:12:11] Kintara Phillips: do you know? That is
[00:12:11] Sophia Elliott: my number one, right.
[00:12:15] Kintara Phillips: If I ever Eve, if I ever. Decided to do a PhD.
[00:12:22] Huge. If the only, the only benefit I see at the moment of doing a PhD is that I get the, uh, I get to use doctor. If I, if I finish a PhD and I, if I was still teaching in classrooms, I would 100% insist that the children referred to me as Dr. Phil fill. nice. I don’t, I don’t think I’d get the joke. I just don’t.
[00:12:44] Yeah, but you’d to at the moment, yeah, it doesn’t weigh up, but yeah, if I was ever going to do a PhD yeah. It would 100% be I that idea of, I call it academic resilience yes. And give, and it’s that idea that when they’re not having to work hard or push beyond or problem solve. Yeah. Academically learning wise, mm-hmm they don’t realize that that’s just part of learning.
[00:13:18] Yes. That’s part of the process learning come up against hurdles and we all have to work out what we do with it. Mm-hmm and what happens a lot that I see, cuz I teach at that upper end. I see kids come in at year 10, 11 and 12 who have cruised through who have got straight A’s and a hundred percent on everything.
[00:13:39] Everything’s just been really easy with minimal effort and study and all of a sudden it get. A bit real. Yeah. Gets a little bit more complex. The pace picks up, you know, in, in VCN Victoria, you know, it’s jam packed. There is no time to review. There is no time to go over things again. And for lots of kids, that’s the first time they don’t get it straight away.
[00:14:07] Yeah. And they don’t know what to do with that feeling. They don’t know what to do with that experience. Yeah. And they will often throw their hands in the air. Yeah. Do it too hard. Not, I, I actually don’t like this anymore. This is not. And I’m the perfect example. First, first time I remember the first time I hit that and it was year 11 chemistry.
[00:14:27] Mm-hmm I did three weeks of year 11 chemistry withdrew from the subject. The only other subject I could transfer into was your 11 cake decorating. So I did,
[00:14:39] Sophia Elliott: I loves
[00:14:40] Kintara Phillips: that was the first time. Yeah. I had ever. Yeah, not, and I had no idea how to, how to push through
[00:14:48] Sophia Elliott: it. Yeah. So there’s two things that I will share in the show notes for this episode.
[00:14:52] One is a YouTube video called James and Susie, and I share it all the time. Cause it’s freaking good. And it it’s a little, it’s a little cute little video about why learning, how to learn is so important. Yeah. Like from primary, yes. And a link to the podcast I did with Heather who like yourself, it’s just about her experience of going to school and not having to learn how to learn.
[00:15:14] And then when she did, like everything fell apart. So two great kind of resources there on that note, because this is the thing we don’t realize that our neuro typical kids, when they go to school right. From our very first experiences, when they don’t get it, it’s a skill to learn how to ask for help. Yep.
[00:15:35] It’s a skill to learn how to find other ways of figuring stuff out. And if you don’t learn those skills, like every other kid is like, if you get to grade 11 and you haven’t learned that skill, every other kid in that school is 11 years ahead of you. Yes. So
[00:15:52] Kintara Phillips: learning those skills in
[00:15:53] Sophia Elliott: that, right? Yeah. So fundamental.
[00:15:56] So when we’re, so what we’re looking for for our gifted kids are not a hundred percent straight a plus it’s actually, we want them to be getting. You know, bees, we want them to be in that middle bit or CS, whatever, but we want them to be stretched, learning how to learn, being uncomfortable. So even at
[00:16:19] Kintara Phillips: those comfort sitting in the discomfort that comes before God, yeah.
[00:16:23] Sophia Elliott: Sitting in the discomfort. Yes, it is. Even as a grown up, I hate that place. Oh yeah. So when we, so that’s our, our garden variety giftee and like you say, there’s a lot out there and they, they need all of these things as well, but then we move up and those, uh, standard deviations increase. So then we’ve got, I kind of, I, in my head, I kind of have three zones and they’re a bit mushy, but it’s kind of like that lower end of the nineties.
[00:16:55] And there’s like, you’ve got more options and pull out programs and, and that’s like a freaking great place to be in. Cuz there’s more options there. Yeah.
[00:17:03] Kintara Phillips: There’s more of them then successful. They’re not behavioral issues. They’re not failing. You’re not having meetings at school every second day when you’ve got a garden variety gifty.
[00:17:16] Sophia Elliott: Yep. And then you’ve kind of got the highly gifted, which is a 95, 98 kind of thing. And then you’ve got the 90 nines to 99 point nines, which are the other two categories in my head. Yeah. Because I think that’s where. Like shit just gets real. lying. Like let’s just face it. Yeah. Because the accommodations they need are even more at the 95, 98 kind of thing, depending on the kid.
[00:17:45] But yes. Let’s not even depending on at that level. Yeah. But then again, it steps up again at the 99, 9 point nines, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, so if you’ve got a kid in those two kind of areas in your kind of opinion, what kind of things are parents going to need to look out for in terms of how do you meet those unicorn educational needs?
[00:18:06] Kintara Phillips: What was that? Sorry. Need to find unicorns. Unicorns. Yes. Because schools and teachers who understand that. Yeah. And who are open to what we all know these kids, these kids need to be accelerated. Oh yeah, they do. Yeah. The, the, you know, the studies and the research and the data that tells us those kids need to be accelerated.
[00:18:38] Yeah. They need to be with like-minded peers. There is no long term wellbeing, mental health, negative impact on like, you know what I’m like? Oh yeah. You can in schools are so resistant to the acceleration. I’ll tell you a story. Won’t somebody think of the children.
[00:19:02] Sophia Elliott: Oh my God. So this is my story of acceleration and I’ll, it’s kind of like, so one of my kids who is a 99.9 was in reception, did start six months earlier.
[00:19:16] Not because of any other reason, except for just birthday. Yeah. Right. No one had ever kind of suggested that he was anything other than bright, so he’d already done. So we’re into that kind of second year. So he had done three terms of reception already, but we’re at the beginning of, you know, the school year.
[00:19:35] Yeah. We’re in term two. I’ve got the report that says nine, 9.9. We’ve got the evidence showing that he is frustrated, unhappy, gifted burnout. Classic. Yeah. All is not well that school did midyear shifts. So there were kids in his class from reception going up to the grade 1, 2, 3 class. Cause it was a cluster class, but they would not accelerate him because they said his handwriting wasn’t quite good enough.
[00:20:04] And they were worried about his social emotional. And I just said to them, look, he turns six, like next week in his head. He has already transitioned to that class, cuz that’s a grade. That’s the six year old’s class, not to mention friends from this class are going to that one. Yeah. So he is there with friends, not to mention, you’ve got a psych report here saying he needs acceleration, not to mention it’s a 1, 2, 3 class.
[00:20:29] He could actually be accelerated with that same group of kids easily do grade three work or two work like they refused. And it blew my brain out. I could not get my head around it and we obviously ended up leaving because like what the and if it’s
[00:20:46] Kintara Phillips: those. Those little things that they hope like those handwriting’s not up to scratch.
[00:20:51] I know someone who was told well, we couldn’t accelerate because they can’t cut in a straight line. Yes. It’s the, well, we can’t possibly let them have the next level up readers because what will they read next year? All of those things that you just yeah. You’re like,
[00:21:07] Sophia Elliott: yeah. So, and on that gifted kids, handwriting sucks and it will suck until they get over older.
[00:21:14] So get over it and let them do something interesting. Yeah.
[00:21:18] Kintara Phillips: Cause when your brain works that quickly, your hand cannot possibly keep up.
[00:21:24] Sophia Elliott: It is not a reason to stop them doing anything else. No. So, so, so I think we’re in agreeance when you get to that highly profoundly gifted kind of the 95 90 eights and then the 90 nineties you need something very different.
[00:21:38] Yeah. Still, and it sucks to be the parent of that kid because it’s hard to find that.
[00:21:44] Kintara Phillips: Yes. And that’s what I’m saying. Those kinds of schools yeah. Are like finding a
[00:21:49] Sophia Elliott: unicorn. Yeah. And that’s why so many of those end up homeschooling, right? Yes. Like, because it’s just like, there’s, there’s so few options.
[00:21:57] Kintara Phillips: You know, and, and I think, you know, I suppose one of the other things that connects back to what we were talking about earlier about things to look out for when you are on that kind of journey. If, if there’s an inflexibility, like from the beginning yeah. Red flag walk away, like, yeah. Yeah. And, and I, I use the example of, you know, talking to schools for looking for a part-time enrollment.
[00:22:22] Yeah. Which in Victoria government schools actually have to accommodate a part-time enrollment. Okay. That’s interesting. Yep. It’s there it’s, there are ways that you put it in the time to other educational, you know, like it’s a thing. Yep. And you know, but a school that from the outset was just like, no, we, we cannot accommodate a part-time enrollment.
[00:22:44] And it was like, I could have gone in all guns, blazing pulled out the, the documentation pulled all the, and just gone bang, bang, bang. Actually you do, you can, this is a thing. But if, if you have to convince a principal at something so foundational yeah. You like just walk away. Yeah. Because it’s just, if, if you are fighting little things like that already.
[00:23:13] Yeah. You’re just gonna keep fi like it’s not gonna change. Yeah. So, you know, finding those schools that yeah. That will accelerate that will, you know, is just so hard. Yeah. But you know, the 99 percentiles who, who need the radical acceleration even more so. And I think you’re right. I think that’s why there are so many at that level.
[00:23:38] Who homeschooling, because it’s the only way. And it’s, you know, it is, I don’t wanna use the word burden because burden feels like a really, you know, unfair word. Our children are not a burden. Yeah, totally.
[00:23:50] Sophia Elliott: But your only
[00:23:50] Kintara Phillips: option is to homeschool your kid for them to learn for their own mental health. For all of these reasons, one parent can’t work or two parents have to work.
[00:24:02] Part-time that’s, you know, that’s a financial burden on a family. Yeah. That is, you know, maybe like for some families it would be cheaper to send your kid to a fancy, expensive private boarding school than it would for you. Not like for me. Yeah. On a top teacher salary. Yeah. That’s, that’s a massive income loss.
[00:24:26] Yeah. You know, which means makes all of, so there are all of that. When you just go, just put the kid up, like, especially like your, when, when the next level up was already a 1, 2, 3, I know. Right. All rocket science people. It was
[00:24:44] Sophia Elliott: so obviously the right move. Do you know? And that’s the thing it’s kind of like when you, like you said, when you, when they’re so inflexible.
[00:24:53] Yes. You, when they’re so inflexible, you just know that that journey will be bashing your head against a brick wall, be, you know, and it’s, and it just. It just sucks to be
[00:25:07] Kintara Phillips: in that situation. It does. It’s
[00:25:08] Sophia Elliott: not, it’s not
[00:25:10] Kintara Phillips: fair. It’s not right. It’s not okay. Mm-hmm and it is it infuriates me and, you know, I often say and you know, if you talk to colleagues who have worked with me previously, you know, it’s, it’s a big thing.
[00:25:24] Cause it’s not that hard, you know? Oh, we’ve got a 1, 2, 3 concept, Chuck, the kid in there. It’s not that hard. Right? Yeah. You know, ah, we’re small. And we, we block, you know, 10, 11 and 12 together, Chuck, the kid in there. It’s not that hard. We work in a secondary school. We’re blocking and time tabling means that we have so much flexibility and where things fit.
[00:25:47] Yeah. It’s not that hard. Yeah. But it’s, for some reason it seems to be hard. And, and I, I know a unicorn and I knew I’d found the unicorn when I was, I was chatting to a principal. And I said, I said something, I made a comment, kind of remember what, what I said. Yeah. And she looked at me and she goes, well, yeah, it’s not that hard.
[00:26:08] And I was just like,
[00:26:09] Sophia Elliott: oh, all, if anyone says, it’s not that hard. We, yeah, we can do. That’s not, that’s like golden
[00:26:15] Kintara Phillips: words. Yes. Golden’s a green flag. Yeah, totally. And it’s a bit of a running joke between her and I. Now I see her quite a bit. Mm-hmm cause of the work I do with universities and pre-service teachers and, and it’s a running joke now that whenever we chat, she, before I leave, she’s like Quin.
[00:26:29] Yeah. She goes, how much my watch. She goes, initially what she goes, how much, how much would it cost to get you back in the classroom here? Full-time and I just, you can’t afford me. And now that’s the joke. That’s how we say goodbye to each other. So Cutera how much I’m like too much, too much, too much, too much.
[00:26:46] But yeah. So it, I wish I had an answer. Like I, I wish I wish that I had an answer for, for parents
[00:26:54] Sophia Elliott: and I think kids totally all you can do. I think at that point as a parent is talk to other parents. Yeah. So, you know, find your communities online. Obviously our gifted kids, that’s what we’re trying to do, bring people together.
[00:27:08] So you can get in, there you go. Right. I’m here. Anyone . Yeah. Can someone a school where it’s working because, and this is the thing and I, and. Look, you know, we’re obviously expressing our frustration at the educational system and these experiences. But like you said earlier, when I, when we had our child assess the psych said in 20 years, I’ve never seen a kid like this and you kind of go, oh, so when we’d kind of did the math, we’re like, okay, this school he’s at has probably never seen a kid like this.
[00:27:40] Yeah. And then you are okay. Right. Or I’ll cut you a little bit of slack but you’re still inflexible. So it is kind of like, and I, and it was when you said that it kind of reminded me because I personally am in a bubble because you know, my kids are at a unicorn school. I know so many kids in that bracket, it doesn’t feel like they’re rare to me, but I, I know that they are.
[00:28:05] But that’s the thing. You gotta find your people. I
[00:28:08] Kintara Phillips: remember. Yeah. One of the best teachers my son ever had was a graduate first year, graduate straight out of uni. Yeah. I was a little bit nervous. Cause you know, like I know there are great grades, but yeah. It can be a little bit nervewracking. And I, I knew I’d hit a unicorn with her when I went in couple of weeks into the year.
[00:28:29] It was just like, you get to know the teachers night. And we went in and he was in grade three. Yeah. And she said to me, you know, oh you so and so’s mom. And I said, yeah. And she said, he’s. She said, oh, I’ve never met a kid. Like, like he’s, he’s so clever. And I said, yeah, he’s alright. And she’s like, no, he’s really clever.
[00:28:50] Like, he’s so clever. And I said, yeah, yeah. And she, she was so beautiful. And she said, look, maybe, maybe it’s cuz you work with high school students. Like I know you’re a teacher and I know you work with high school. Like maybe you don’t realize how clever he is because you’re so used to and more, and I said, look, yeah.
[00:29:11] And I said, but I also have a masters in gifted education and spend quite a bit of time working with kids who are like profoundly gifted. My kids are a little bit gifted, like he’s clever. And he’s so yeah, that, even that like, yeah. I, I spend time with yeah. Lots of kids like that now as well. So like yeah.
[00:29:30] My kids, like, so Bo at average, that I’m, I’m surprised when people are surprised by
[00:29:40] that. Yeah. We do moving circles, I think where like, yes, the 99.9% is a rare, but then no, there’s plenty out there. There’s plenty out there’s out there. There’s still, when you find your tribe. Yeah, yeah,
[00:29:54] Sophia Elliott: yeah. You know, they’re there. And and we often will talk about on the podcast, how important it is to have your likeminded peers, because you need people in your life who reflect you back at
[00:30:07] Kintara Phillips: youth.
[00:30:08] Sophia Elliott: And kids need that from every age. The moment, they start crawling way too early. Do you know, like they need other kids around them who are quirky, like them yes. To reflect back to them who they are. Yeah. And who we are so that we feel that we’re not alone in the world. Yeah.
[00:30:27] Kintara Phillips: Everyone wants to see themselves represented yeah.
[00:30:30] In, in the world. Yeah. Regardless. So, yeah. It’s
[00:30:34] Sophia Elliott: so while finding the schools might be challenging unicorns, every state has a gifted association. You know, all of these, everything in the world can be hit and miss, and often, often depends on how much time the volunteers in that area have, but get in touch.
[00:30:50] Because ideally even if at school, it’s really challenging, try, find opportunities outside of school, where they can meet those like-minded peers. And there’s various things I know in new south Wales, there’s like jar and jar are doing online stuff now. So I will share that in the show notes as well. So the, there are places out there doing things, find them and yeah.
[00:31:15] And just try and provide that for your child. Yeah. So,
[00:31:19] Kintara Phillips: and you know, and I think it is, you know, Those schools are unicorns. They, you know, they really are. And if you can find teachers and schools who, who will say things like it. Yeah. It’s not that hard. Let’s, let’s try it. But, you know, I think what we, what we do find a lot is that carrot and stick as well, often, you know, often those kids who are really up there are not performing.
[00:31:47] Yes, that’s right. Because they’re not performing little monkeys that you click your fingers. Yep. And, and lots of schools will be like, you can take the data in and you can, and they’re like, well, that’s not what we are seeing here. Yes, yes, no. We’re not seeing that. Let’s about that. If they do this, mm-hmm then we can let them do that and trying to change the conditional acceleration.
[00:32:05] Yeah. Is, is just insane. From a like a teacher perspective and kind of, you know, I suppose linking back into that idea of teachers don’t know what they don’t know. Yeah. Part of the jargon around the testing as well is that like teachers might have some idea of percentiles. They might have some idea of what standard deviations are.
[00:32:27] They kind of understand a bell curve, but they ma you can understand what 90th percentile IQ you can understand, theoretically, that an IQ of 145 is, is high. But what does that look like? Yeah. Practice in my classroom. Yeah. Right. And even a lot of like the, the test, the other testing, academic testing that happens will come back to schools with a percentile ranking or with a stay nine.
[00:33:01] Right. And again, all right. Well, I know stay nine, six is, is average. I know stay nine nine’s high, but what is, what does that look like? Mm-hmm so what, one of the things I was working on before I left the classroom was converting that data. Mm-hmm into something a bit more concrete for teachers. Yeah.
[00:33:24] In this situation stay nine, nine looks like, and I, I was in a very English space cuz that’s, that’s where I sit, stay nine, nine at this looks like what you would expect to see from one of your high achieving year 10 students. So your, this year seven you’ve got yeah. Their, their potential, their, what they’ve got.
[00:33:52] Looks like, yeah. What you’d give you your tens. Yeah. And often when you give it to teachers like that, they go, I don’t know what state nine nine looks like, but if you say, and what does your 10 English look like? They go, oh, oh, well, I know what your 10 English looks like. Great. Give that. Can you give that kid you 10 English?
[00:34:07] Yeah. Can you give that kid you 10 maths? Yeah. That’s what it looks. So being able to, I think, convert some of that jargon data. Yeah. Into concrete. Yeah. Yeah. Something that teachers can grab and be like, oh, I know what that looks like. Yeah. Can also be helpful. And then once we start to see this pattern of what this looks like, yeah.
[00:34:35] Maybe then we can have the discussions around. So my kid who you are teaching who’s in year seven, who it’s so great. You’ve been offering this year 10 kind of level work. Mm-hmm cause that’s easy for teachers as well. I’m not asking you to reinvent the wheel. You’re already teaching 10 English, just like, you know, what are they doing?
[00:34:53] Year 10. Oh, don’t worry about that’s a future problem. We’ll we’ll, we’ll get there when we get there. But all of a sudden, you, you start collecting this evidence, oh look you, you’re giving this kid year 10 work or you’re giving this, you know, and they’re doing it. They’re achieving, they’re getting
[00:35:12] be pride. Popping them into the attend class. Could we maybe try. Skipping year nine, that’s at a separate campus anyway. And just going from year eight, straight into year 10, because once I, I think I hope for some most teachers, once we see the hard evidence, it’s hard in, in terms that we realize, and we recognize, and that are familiar to us.
[00:35:37] It’s it’s maybe a little bit harder to ignore it. Yeah. Cause it’s not this abstract IQ number that we don’t really know what it means or what it looks like. Yeah.
[00:35:50] Sophia Elliott: Question there for you. Yeah. So, actually two questions, if you could explain to everyone what the stay nine is, and also I wanna ask you about gaps in learning.
[00:36:02] Yeah. So do you wanna start with the St
[00:36:04] Kintara Phillips: nine? Yeah. So Stines are similar to percentiles and they’re, they’re kind of based around there’s a whole, I’m not a mass person. There’s a whole formula. There’s like questions have waitings on complexity and we see St nine a lot. The common kind of achievement testing we see in schools tends to be pat testing.
[00:36:24] Mm-hmm we see a lot of pat testing. So pat tends to spit out St nine, right. To parents. Yeah. Or to classroom teachers. Yeah. Pat testing is actually fantastic and super helpful. If you can get access to the absolute raw, raw, raw data they won’t let me have access to that anymore, cuz I’m not a school.
[00:36:45] I can have the real, oh, you can have this. And I’m like, I don’t want that. That’s superficial. That’s rubbish. I, that’s not what I want. So when I’m in schools and I get that raw, that can be really handy, but it’s all about it’s like this formula goes in and what you’re looking for is a student who comes out at stay 9, 4, 5 0 6 is performing cuz it’s it’s performance, right?
[00:37:09] It’s yeah. Academic testing. It’s not potential it’s current performance. So stay 9, 4, 5 or six suggests that at the expected standard for that year level. Yeah. Right. So you would give a year seven the year seven test. And if they came out at state 9, 4, 5, 6, you’d be like right. Where, where, right.
[00:37:28] You’re in the right spot. Yep. You’re in the right spot. Anything below suggests they’re below standard above suggests that they’re above standard. So you might get, I always use sevens cuz they’re easy. You might get year seven who who’s English testing comes out and they’re stay nine, nine. Right. So that’s significantly above where they should be.
[00:37:48] Yeah. Lots of schools would be like, ah, they’re clever. Great. Leave it at that. I see that. And go pretest level up. Let’s go. And I would never, if I saw a stay nine, nine, I would never administer a year eight test to the year seven. I’d go up to year levels. So if I had year sevens that were coming in in state I nine S I’d throw the N nine testing at.
[00:38:10] Because we don’t wanna over test them. Like, we don’t wanna then give them your eight and they get stay nine, nine again. So we giving them your nine, nine again, mm-hmm . And the idea with above level testing is that you are trying to find the, the point at which that kid hits stay 9, 4, 5 or six. Yeah, because then it’s that concrete can say to teachers, right.
[00:38:31] It took the year nine book. Yeah. To get the stay nine where it should be. Yeah. So this kid that’s where their current performance is. That’s where I need you to be pitching the content to them. Yeah. That’s where the complex, that’s the level the complexity needs to be at. Yeah. Right. And that’s without bringing in pacing, pacing’s the whole new kettle fish, which probably relates to the other question you asked about the gaps in learning.
[00:38:58] Cuz we hear that a lot. Right. Everyones gaps. And you know, I mean, part of the reason they’ve gaps is even for kids who, who sit through mainstream school, but they tune out when it’s stuff they already know. And the teacher’s just explaining it again and again, they tune out and then, but they actually then miss when new information can be dropped in cuz you know, they’ve checked out.
[00:39:18] And I think it’s really important to, and I do lots of work sharing with teachers, the number of exposures and repetitions and practices, different kinds of thinkers need. So pointing out that, you know, those kids who sit in that mid band, you know, the, the bulk of the, the bell curve. Yep. Anywhere between kind of 10 and 20 exposures repetitions to learn a new skill gifted kids need one to three.
[00:39:41] Yep. So that’s fine. We’ve got gaps. Cool. Sit with a kid. One to three repetitions, bang, bang, bang, like fill yeah. There’s gaps, but let’s fill them, but let’s not like, don’t pretend that it’s going to well, that was a six week unit that we did that they missed. So it’s gonna take me six weeks to fill the gap.
[00:40:00] It’s not, it’s probably gonna take you like 16 minutes to fill the gap for that kid. You know? So I think trying to help teachers understand that gaps are normal. Like we’ve all got gaps for whatever reason mm-hmm and, but understanding that gifted kids, the pace at which they learn is phenomenally quick.
[00:40:25] So the gaps are problematic because we can actually fill them fairly quickly. Mm-hmm , you know, that’s really
[00:40:33] Sophia Elliott: good to hear because I hear people getting very wound up about all gaps and gaps and it’s like, but what I read about. Is along the lines of what you’ve said there. And it’s kind of like, but it’s also the way the gifted learners brain works is that the gaps will get filled in.
[00:40:51] Yeah. We don’t need to panic about it. We don’t need to stop them learning where they’re at, because there is a gap somewhere along the way. It’s just kinda like, and also it
[00:41:00] Kintara Phillips: can be a really good way to get that. Like I was talking earlier the academic resilience. Good. Yes. Yeah. Throw something at them.
[00:41:07] Yeah. When you are not telling them where to let them find their gap. Yeah. Right. Let them find their gap and hit the wall and then come to you and be like yep. What I’m doing here. Yeah. You know, let them find the opportunity to let them problem solve. What do we do? Yeah. When we get to that point.
[00:41:25] Sophia Elliott: Now I just wanna wrap up on one last point. I think we’ve kind of covered, but maybe just be explicit about but you you’d sort of touched on there, uh, just before was. Uh, as parents we’re going into the classroom, we’re wanting to talk to the teacher or the school. We may have a student who is demonstrating what they know, which makes things very easy, but we may more likely have a student or a child who is disengaged, uh, has behavior issues or, uh, isn’t showing them what they’re at for various reasons.
[00:42:01] And so then that conversation to get the school, to believe the parent that no at home, they’re reading chapter books. Yeah. But here they’re refusing to read this cat set on the mat book and it’s kind of like, well, cause they’re bought out their brain. Cause, but at home they reading chapter books, it’s kinda like, but they’re not showing us where they’re at and we need them to jump through this hoop before we’re gonna give them something harder.
[00:42:23] Like if, if you’re at home listening to this going, oh my God, that’s me. That is a lot of people’s experience. unfortunately. So yeah. Any kind of words of advice about that?
[00:42:34] Kintara Phillips: Look, I think it’s, it’s all about how you go into those conversations. Right? So drop your armor. Right. And, and come from that. Oh, oh, it sounds hard.
[00:42:49] Play dumb a little bit. Can sometimes help. And by that, I mean, you know, in those kinds of situations. Yeah. That’s, that’s really interesting that, that you are not seeing these things at home. I’m really surprised about that, that you are, you know, like play play long. Is there, you know, and things like, you know, kids who, who they, oh, they’re fine here.
[00:43:13] We don’t have behavior. They’re not doing anything. Okay. Cause what we notice at home is when they’re really quite anxious or not coping, these are some things that they do. Have you noticed that in, in, in the classroom mm-hmm and the teachers might, that might treat and they might be like, oh, oh yeah, they do fidget.
[00:43:30] Or they do tap their knee or they do TWI their hair or whatever the case may be. Or you say, or they go, oh no, maybe like, I know you haven’t noticed it. Do you maybe keep an eye, like see if you notice anything in the next week and is it okay if I, if I give you a call or drop you, if I’ll, I’ll get in touch with you next week to see if, if you’ve noticed anything.
[00:43:53] Yeah. So I think that, you know, pointing out some of those things that teachers and asking them to, to kind of look for, and I do the same thing with kids, right. I, I treat adults the same way as I treat. I will say kids, what do you think you’re struggling with now? Like it, I, I, it seems like this is happening.
[00:44:11] What do you think is what do you think might help you? What do you think is going? And often they’re like, oh,
[00:44:15] Sophia Elliott: cause it,
[00:44:16] Kintara Phillips: and I say to them, alright, well Dre, and we could maybe just try and pay attention over the next week and I’m gonna check in with you and just see if anything stood out. So I think those kind of approaches yeah.
[00:44:28] Can be helpful. And you know, that’s where I, I made that. Should you have to do. Should you have to no, no. Yeah. Is that helpful? Yeah. Yeah. You know, and same as you know about, you know, the kids that’s being kids, that’s being labeled naughty, which yeah. Just at that. Yeah. But you know, and you know, the whole, you know, children, aren’t being a problem, they’re having a problem.
[00:44:49] Yes. And we need to work through that. But again, those teachers who are like, no, your kids naughty, and they’re just like inflexible and you can, you know, you can just see, I’m always like you wanna model the behavior you want from the teacher, right. Yeah. Helen with kindness. Yeah. But that same approach, you know, we don’t see those explosions at home.
[00:45:15] Mm-hmm could you, could you help me understand what, what, what might have been happening in the classroom maybe, you know, can you help what was happening before what actually happened? And then stepping through that, you know, you know, do you think they reacted that way? Cuz they were trying to like achieve something or access something or maybe they’ll try not avoid something that was happening mm-hmm teachers might be, oh yeah.
[00:45:38] They were, you know, they call out all the time and they’re just trying to be the center of attention. Yeah. No, I can see how That calling out, you know, is, is they’re excited to share what they know and they really wanna connect with you and, and let you know that, that they’re listening and learning what you’re saying.
[00:45:54] But I can also say that that’s really, I can see how that’s not helpful in a classroom. What, what might be more helpful? How could we come up with something that’s maybe more appropriate in the classroom? Could we try those strategies for the next week? Is there anything I can do from home to support? Is it okay if I check in with you a week from now to see if there’s been a change again, should, should parents have to do that?
[00:46:17] No. Yeah. Is it helpful? Maybe?
[00:46:21] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Hopefully fingers cross, because as we know, gifted kids will mask. They will, like you said, code switch and they will hide. And they’re very clever, you know? And, and that can be really challenging. And because legitimately a teacher may not be seeing any giftedness, you know, if they don’t know what to look for, then that is gonna just look like that they’re fine.
[00:46:45] Uh, and so it can be really tricky to have those conversations, but I really love, like you said, we need to model the behavior that we wanna see from the teacher. Just like we model the behavior we wanna see from,
[00:46:58] Kintara Phillips: and you, like, you can walk out of those meetings and getting your car and like scream into a pillow and swear the swear, your head off.
[00:47:07] But yeah. In like in the moment in those moments, those people who are super inflexible, I always just kill ’em with kindness. Yeah, yeah. Kill ’em with kindness. Yeah. You know?
[00:47:20] Sophia Elliott: Yeah.
[00:47:22] Kintara Phillips: Absolutely. And look, it doesn’t always work. There. Are there, are there are teachers out there who that’s right. Yeah. Oh, should walk away from it.
[00:47:29] But there are also teachers out there who, who do, who wanna know more, who wanna do better? Who, who wanna work with you to learn how to support, you know, you and your child and your family. I’m, I’m not that much of a unicorn, you know, I’m not the only one. I know that there’s others cuz I’m friends with them.
[00:47:50] I, I talk to them. I work with those, you know, these teachers and that’s just in my little, like I know they’re there.
[00:47:57] Sophia Elliott: Yes, absolutely. And we started the podcast by acknowledging that as much as this is a very challenging situation and schools and teachers and education is incredibly challenging. We acknowledge that one.
[00:48:12] Teachers just aren’t trained in this area. And two, it’s not every teacher, it’s not every school and they’re out there and oh my God, they’re out there. Do you know, and trying to do the best they can to meet the needs of our gifted kids and we just gotta find them. Yeah. And I think it’s been a wonderful conversation today.
[00:48:31] Thank you so much. Thank you. There’s so much in that because I think parents, we just need that validation. We need to know. It’s not just us. We need to know. It’s okay to be that parent because you gotta advocate hard and I’m sorry. It’s BOLs. Yeah, we do. Because it’s yeah, because it’s not easy. No, but hopefully I think this is a wonderful episode for just kind of going, we see you.
[00:49:02] Yeah. You know, and for the teachers, like we see you too, we know it’s hard. And for those ones trying to do better. Thank you. My goodness. Thank you so much
[00:49:14] Kintara Phillips: cuz we need you . Yeah. And they, those teachers more than ever in the current climate need to hear it. Yeah.
[00:49:22] Sophia Elliott: Oh my God. Yeah. Totally need
[00:49:24] Kintara Phillips: to hear it. If you’ve got a good teacher.
[00:49:27] Yeah. Please let know. Yeah. They don’t need any, they just need you to see them and to say, thank you. Yeah, definitely now more than ever. Yeah.
[00:49:42] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, for sure. Well, thank you so much. So as we end yep. Let everyone know how do they get in touch with you and emergence education? Because, and I’ll share the link of course, in the show notes and stuff, but is it just kind of getting in touch by the website?
[00:49:59] Yeah. So
[00:50:00] Kintara Phillips: we’ve got a website that’s it’s there. I do learn how to build a website. I know the feeling anything that’s wrong with it’s hundred percent my fault. I’ve never built a website before. But it’s running. And we do have a Facebook page and Instagram. It’s all very quiet. It’s still a very, it’s a baby project.
[00:50:20] Sophia Elliott: hear you. It’s okay. Sometimes I’ve got a lot on stuff, sometimes you can’t. Yep. Yeah.
[00:50:25] Kintara Phillips: But you know, it, it’s a baby project that we do wanna grow that, you know, we do have some real long-term goals for but yeah, like reach out, ask questions, you know, we will answer what we can let us know if the idea of online group stuff, appeals or face to face group stuff, or like what, what can I do?
[00:50:50] What do you, what are, what does the gifted community need from me? Yeah. What, what can I, where’s the gap that I need to. Yeah.
[00:51:01] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So thank you so much. That’s all I look forward to you updating us anytime. And when you’re doing, you know, as your journey grows and emergence grows and you’re doing different things, keep us in touch so we can share it, uh, with everyone.
[00:51:21] It’s super exciting to have more people in this community, providing services, doing the work, like you said, we need it. Thank you for doing it.
[00:51:31] Kintara Phillips: Like it’s where out.
[00:51:34] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. And just what a privilege to nerd out in such an amazing community like kids and parents, like serious.
[00:51:41] Kintara Phillips: Oh, mate. So interesting. These kids are the best.
[00:51:44] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, totally. Yep. It’s so much fun. It’s so worth it. Excellent. Well, thank you so much. Th