A Case for Using Smile & Succeed for Teens by Kirt Manecke with Identified Gifted Teens
Smile & Succeed for Teens by Kirt Manecke is a great resource for use with identified gifted students. Gifted students often have unique capabilities and challenges. Social skills for gifted students are important because this is one skill that can often be lacking. The social and emotional needs of gifted students must be addressed in an explicit manner.
This book serves as a non-threatening spring board into critically important social and emotional areas. The topics contained in Manecke’s book may be discussed and further investigated by students in the form of research, role play, small group discussion, journaling, and related projects.
Smile & Succeed for Teens is divided into seven chapters. A few examples of how this book may be used to support identified gifted teens are shared from Chapter one and two. Chapter one is titled “The Top Ten People Skills”. Some of the skills included in chapter one: The power of a smile, a firm hand shake, good eye contact and managing electronics. These topics may be a catalyst for helping gifted teens understand some of the unique inter and intra personal skills needed by gifted individuals.
It is important that gifted teens understand that at times they may feel out of synch with other young people their age. Asynchronous development refers to the uneven intellectual, social-emotional, and physical development that is so common among gifted children.
Dr. Nadia Webb, a neuropsychologist and co-author of Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults states that “Phenomenal intellects can coexist with mediocre executive functional skills.” Gifted teens also need to be aware of meta-cognition (thinking about their thinking). Discussing the topics in this chapter will help young people better understand their own thinking. Often identified gifted young people don’t realize that they may think differently than typical teens.
Chapter two delves into topics related to communication, jobs, careers interviewing skills and stress. The topics in chapter two support The 21st Century Skills which were put together by a group of national leaders across various industries and agencies.
The 21st Century Skills include capabilities needed by young people in order to be effective in the work place. According to an article by Wabisabi Learning, collaboration and communication are two critical skills needed by all students. The article states that connection and collaboration with others are essential not only to students’ learning but also their mental and emotional health. By engaging teens in discussion, research and extended projects related to the topics in chapter two, students will have a better understanding of skills needed in the work force as well as daily living.
Prepared by Dee Ann Stricklett, Licensed Gifted Intervention Specialist and School Administrator (Ohio).
Social skills for gifted students can be taught. Learn more about the award-winning book Smile & Succeed for Teens.