A PEAK Reflection
Submitted by a first year senior in the PEAK Program,
as a portion of the semester’s final, December 2012
(These excepts were shared with the JAGC Board.
JAGC asked for and was granted permission to publish
by the Student and GT Director--thank you!)
Coming in as a senior to PEAK was an odd experience. I had never been in gifted programming before, and I’m sure everyone can agree it is nothing like a typical classroom environment. The community building at the beginning of the year I feel is important and a good way to introduce everyone to a new high school and this new community. However, some of the activities are clearly geared more towards freshman. For the most part seniors have figured out how to maneuver through the jungle of high school and don’t need advice on things like time management or organization…
…PEAK has been remarkably important to me, and I don’t think I could have made the transition to a new high school without it. The best component of PEAK though is the flexibility. I enjoy having time to work on things that are important to me, instead of having to do whatever the group is doing. As such when it comes to upperclassmen my best advice is to just remain flexible, and communicate with the person as to what it is they need. Another really wonderful aspect of PEAK is the supportive community that exists within the program. High school students need help, especially those who are gifted in my experience, so having the resource of supportive and unthreatening teachers is remarkably helpful. Beyond that it’s wonderful to spend time in a room full of like-minded peers who are equally likely to be talking about Pokémon as they are to be talking about ending world hunger.
In summation I feel PEAK is a great program, and that the best part about it is its adaptability. Keep communication open with all students about their needs and their desires and I feel only good things will come about.