I thought this was a very apt analogy: harnessing high potential
It amazes me sometimes I ask a certain question or do a certain activity and I can something in the students that hadn't been apparent before. I have a student who really struggled this year with reading. I've been fighting to prevent him from being retained because I truly believe it's some sort of learning disability that is holding him back. We did an activity where they were comparing the park and the beach with a double-bubble map. Most of the students answered that the similarities between the 2 were: you could play there, it was fun, there are people there-obvious answers, in my mind. His answer: it's free to go to both places. That was an outside the box answer for this group of kiddos. I can see that giftedness in him, even if it doesn't appear on paper.
I do believe we have to get to know our students individually-not just their strengths and weaknesses, but also their interests. Good teachers use those interests to feed into that potential. It always amazes me (and frankly bothers me) that my students go to their specials classes or to lunch and other staff will comment-"that child is GT"? That giftedness appears in different ways with different students. I agree with this author that we are coaching them in a way. Guiding them towards making those gifts more apparent. It's our job to teach them how to be creative, how to think deeply. Many kids don't come to school already with those tools in their toolbox. It's an important thing for us to remember as teachers.