The smart kid


Maya Akram, Reporter/photographer

   In my experience, the Talented and Gifted(TAG) program had a big impact on my education. TAG has provided many opportunities including field trips and projects. Students in these programs have always been stereotyped as “the smart kids.” What is not talked about though is how these students feel about the pressure they are put under. 

   When I was accepted into TAG, I could not have been happier. I had taken the required tests, and I felt relieved after I had passed them because they created a lot of anxiety. I thought that the test would be the only thing I would be anxious about, but after I was accepted, I was subjected to a plethora of expectations.

   To be accepted into TAG, students have to be assessed. This can include projects as well as traditional tests. The assessments put a lot of pressure on students to get in and to excel in everything they do. 

   “Taking the tests caused me a lot of stress because I thought I needed to be good at everything,” Freshman Connor Alley said.

  Other students expect the advanced students to understand everything and they often turn to them for help. They act like that the advanced students will just hand over their work so the other students can easily earn a good grade. 

   To add on to this stress, some parents anticipate their child to not struggle with their grades. They expect their child to understand everything in school and not need help with any subject. Parents may also push their child into opportunities that their child may not want or feel comfortable with. This can include different honors classes, AP classes, and other advanced classes and programs.

   All of this leads to the students’ self expectations. TAG students believe that they need to succeed the first time or else they are not good enough. Some of these students start to self doubt, and second guess themselves in everything they do. 

   Mistakes are not something that advanced students are expected to make. When something does not come as easy to them or they do not understand something very well, they start to believe that they are failing. If students think they are failing, they start to give up after they do not succeed the first time. 

   However, others believe that these expectations are good for advanced students because it pushes the student to the best they can be. It can improve students’ self esteem and boost their confidence. Although it can improve some students’ self esteem, it can damage others. If a student can not achieve certain expectations, then their self esteem is hurt.

   These expectations can hurt students in different ways. Others make advanced students start to believe that there are certain goals that they need to reach. It can push students to believe that they are not good enough and that they are not as smart as they once were. People need to understand that advanced students are humans too and that pressuring them to not make mistakes affects them negatively.