Jo Brighouse

When a child is smarter than you, it’s a privilege

Teaching gifted children is a rare and exciting privilege, but it is also a big responsibility, says TES columnist Jo Brighouse

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“What is 247 x 25?” I asked the class. In less than two seconds, Joseph’s hand was in the air.

“Six-one-seven-five,” he said.

“Can you tell us how you got that answer?” I asked, while my brain frantically tried to quarter 700.

Of course, Joseph could tell us. In fact, he had mapped out his thought processes on the whiteboard, well before I and the rest of the class had caught up. It left me thinking (and not for the first time) how on earth I ended up teaching someone whose mathematical skills were so clearly superior to my own.

It wasn’t just maths. Joseph was a gifted writer and voracious ...

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