Nau mai, haere mai


Welcome to the home of the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog tour. The blog tour runs through the month of June each year as an activity associated with New Zealand's Gifted Awareness Week.


The theme this year is Mythbusting


The New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour is an opportunity for you to have your say about giftedness. Here you can share your experiences, stories and views, for example, about being gifted, parenting/raising gifted young people, and/or gifted education.

This might be:

  • student perspectives;
  • an opinion pieces, perhaps with a call to action for positive change;
  • a poem;
  • research findings;
  • experiences from professional practice

Keen to contribute a blog?

We would love to help you get your voice out there and heard...or is that read...?

Hmmm...anyway, if you'd like to contribute this year, then complete the 'I want to blog!' form, or check out the 'how-to' section to find out more about the process. We welcome blogs from everyone: those who are experienced bloggers, as well as those with little or no experience. If you run into any problems, please feel free to email Alanagh, the blog coordinator.


Members of Parliament have always contributed in varying numbers and at least one of them reads a selection of the blogs each year. You’ll probably be able to tell which one, if you read the political posts.


Colour coding of blog post images

You will notice that there is a strip of colour to the left of the thumbnail images for some posts. These indicate the following:

Green - posts which have been written by gifted children

Red - posts which have had more than 500 views during the blog tour period

Yellow - posts which relate to government viewpoints and policies, open letters to Parliament, and other posts created for lobbying purposes

Purple - these are not blogs, but have been a significant part of the discussion during the period of the tour


Blog Tour


Please share widely!  #GAW2019


Please share the blogs widely: to friends, family, educators, specialists, MPs...anyone you think might be interested and/or could benefit from reading them.


The New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week hashtag is used for sharing blogs, so please feel free to include #GAW2019 in your posts, tweets, emails, etc. The blog tour will have a presence online through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Like the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education page on Facebook

Follow @NZGiftedEd on Twitter

Adrift from My Culture

By Vanessa White


Previously I have blogged about the paradox of us and them, and how this skews perspectives, often resulting in a lack of understanding and inclusion of our gifted learners. Today I would like to extend on this further, delving more deeply into the notion of identity and culture, offering a way to overcome the persistent viewpoint of division which is so obvious through the prevalent myths read more 

Longing to Belong

By Anonymous


All I've ever wanted 

Is to feel that I belong

To feel that I am part of a group

To have a pile of friends


The kind that will always think of you
Will always have your back


I'm different from you is the problem  read more

Tiger Mom Misconceptions

By Michelle Tanner


Recently in a Facebook group for parents on how to pay for college, a fellow member posted an article of a 9-year-old boy from the Chicago area that took the ACT and scored 35 (out of a possible 36). My immediate thought was, “Wow! Wouldn’t it be great if he lived in our state so Elliott could meet him?”. I followed the thread with interest and curiosity. I felt it was an opportunity to see what kind of read more.

Young children can't be phenomenal thinkers or creators

By Sarah Kirby


I was immediately drawn to this year’s theme of myth-busting for Gifted Awareness Week, as I knew it would be a lightening rod to the forty three gifted students, that I teach.   These 6-13 year olds, spend one-day-a-week at the WLG MindPlus read more  

I can meet the needs of all the students in my classroom

By Justine Hughes


A very personal post which is all about my journey in gifted education - and it may just surprise some people.

When I was training to be a teacher in the late 1990's, we received very little in the way of learning about any aspect of gifted education. In fact...we were taught to  read more

 CC Photo by Jo Fothergill

It's O.K. to be Gifted

By Jim Delisle 


Almost 20 years ago, I penned the following poem related to the discomfort many people feel about using the term "gifted" to describe children with high intellectual abilities. I thought that by now this artificial controversy would have evaporated from prominence but, sadly, I was mistaken. Read more

Mythbusting "A Curriculum for all Children"

By Andrea Delaune


I am an early childhood teacher, and I have been so for close to 20 years. Over the course of my teaching I have met so many children and teachers, that I have lost count. There are many that stay with me in my heart, some because I know I was able to help them, and some because I look back and think about what I could have done better. Read more

Soccer or Study?

By Lillian - Year 8


Friends. They are sympathetic, playful and caring. Any good friend is, right? Actually, almost all friends. Some are boring, statistical and only want to go to the library. The ‘gifted” ones.

What you have just read is one of the biggest myths surrounding gifted people. It’s not just children, as well. Many adults get subjected to the same societal expectations and feel forced to behave in certain ways, because read more 

Gifted kids can't run

By Geronimo - Year 7


This blog’s myth will be that gifted kids must be bad at physical activity. This. Is. Wrong. 


Ask any famous person what they are good at and it will not just be what they are famous for. It’s the same for giftedness. Read more

Myth: One test or method can identify gifted

By June Maker PhD and Randy Pease


Giftedness is complex, multifaceted, and multidimensional; therefore, no one test or indicator can be a successful method for identifying who is gifted and who is not. In this blog, we will share our experiences, review the results of our research, and give examples read more

I Believe

By Madelaine Willcocks


What a great opportunity we, those of us in the gifted education community, have to highlight myths and truths about gifted learners, giftedness and gifted education. The difficulty I have is where to start with this? There are SO MANY myths about gifted learners. If you hop on over to Myth-Busted you can read about the myths that gifted students say they are contending with every day, and what they think about these myths. Read more

Unconvinced Gifted is a Gift

By Laura Davis


I have started and restarted this post so many times, very carefully selecting my words so that they come across a certain way... and then I had to have a little laugh at myself as I realised that that completely contradicts the point I'm trying to make. So here it is in it's raw form, no pussyfooting around. Read more


By Madaline Willcocks


There are so many myths about giftedness out there. Some are factually incorrect, some are just silly, some can be easily brushed off, but some can be hurtful and confusing for gifted kids and their families. I asked my MindPlus classes what, if any, myths about giftedness they had heard, how these myths affected them, and what they think in response to myths. Buckle up, here we go...

read more

Busting the Myth That Matters Most

By Stephanie Tolan


Humans are the storytelling species, not just telling stories, but often, then, living by them. Some of these “stories to live by” become enshrined in a culture as Myths, defined as “accounts of gods or superhuman beings involved in extraordinary events or circumstances in a time

read more

Reframing Gifted for Educators

By Elaine Le Sueur


Many of the myths about gifted students still persist in spite of the higher profile that the sector holds as a result of changes in government focus. There has been talk about meeting the needs of gifted in education spheres but my contention is that little has changed for these students in the wider education community. Read more

That's a wrap, folks!

The 2019 Mythbusting blog tour has come to a close. A huge thank you to our bloggers and wonderful readers. See you again next year! 


Gifted kids will be fine on their own

By Emma Scobie-Jennings


There are so many competing pressures on our time and to a teacher without a fundamental understanding of theories of giftedness, it would appear that generally gifted students seem to do ok. 

For me though, this raises the question of the purpose of schooling and education. Is the aim for every child to do 'ok'? Or is the aim for every child to be challenged,  read more

A Variety of Packages

By Hannah - Year 8 


"Oh, there's the smart kid who goes to the special school." But who said anything about giftedness being just about your intellect?

Giftedness comes in a variety of little packages. There’s the kid that still doubts themselves after getting 100% on every assignment and the kid that read more


By Anonymous


I feel so invisible

Sitting or standing here

It’s like no one can see me

Even though you are so near


You all smile and are so friendly
But only to each other
I want someone to smile at me

To share the burden of being a mother


I know my kids aren't perfect

I try and try so hard read more

All teachers are teachers of the gifted

By Associate Professor Tracy Riley


Facts typically have some sort of scientific evidence to back them up. Myths commonly start with a story, passed on verbally through generations, that usually begin as a way of explanation. Myths explain something for which there may not be a ready scientific explanation. Read more

Myth: This is Unimportant at Our School

By Ingrid Frengley-Vaipuna


'Our school' is rural, situated in a low socio-economic area and has gained a reputation for personalising learning especially through the use of digital technologies. A significant number of identified ākonga have special needs which require curriculum adaptation. Read more

Mythbusting with Columbus Cheetah

By Jo Freitag


When Psycho Motor Dabrowski learned that the theme for this year’s New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week was to be Myth Busting he became even more super-over-excited than read more

Dispelling the Myths around Academic Acceleration

By Dr Ann Easter


Academic acceleration is one of the most effective educational strategies to meet the needs of high-ability students. Yet, despite more than 100 years of research attesting to the benefits of this approach, many parents and educators still believe that moving read more.