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The Age Newspaper – Too Clever By Half.

Television’s Lisa Simpson yells at the top of her voice:“Relax? I can’t relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or . . . only two synonyms? Oh my God, I’m losing my perspicacity!” A big statement for an eight-year-old. Little wonder her parents, Homer and Marge, look at her with bewilderment in most episodes of The Simpsons.

Ones so young are not supposed to use words such as yield, relent or perspicacity. And synonyms? Well, they are taught a little later. Lisa Simpson is a gifted child. She has abilities beyond her years, is environmentally astute, politically aware and shows talent in the arts. She is a deep thinker, sensitive and often misunderstood. Gifted children share many of Lisa’s traits. Contrary to popular belief, they are not all piano concerto players, chess champions or immersed in developing computer programs at age five. These children are, in fact, extremely rare. The gifted are as diverse as children with learning diffi culties and their needs are just as varied.

Click here to read the full article in The Age Newspaper .

The Age Newspaper – Classroom Burnout Triggers Teachers Opt-Out.

Gabriel Baldwin, 25, is working as a waitress – and skiing – in Canada after travelling through Europe for a year. To do this she walked away from a career as a high-school teacher after just three years because she felt burnt out. Joanne O’Brien, 37, recently left just shy of a decade as a teacher because a new job opportunity was far more appealing. Kerryn Manifold, 28, gave it all up after five years because, he said, he wanted his life back. Alison Venning, 40, taught for six years and then started her own business. Angela Cullen, 31, left after seven years because she was sick of battling against what she considered an outdated curriculum.

Once upon a time, teaching was a vocation for life. You trained, you taught and you retired with a certificate of long service. Now, despite a teacher shortage, many young teachers are opting out. A recent Australian Education Union survey showed that 47 per cent of beginning teachers did not see themselves teaching in 10 years.


Click here to read the full article in The Age Newspaper .