I teach gifted kids. I'm not going to rant about all the flaws in how we find them and what we fail to do for them once we do find them because that's not what this post is about.* I'll just say that I get to work with them for one day a week. I've been doing this for 4th and 5th graders for about eight years.
For the first time in a very long time I'm teaching really small kids, which is rather different than working with the ones who get sarcasm and are pretty good at following multi-step directions. People sometimes ask if the kids are intimidating because they're so smart**, or if they're all absent-minded geniuses***or other such things. They do have very big brains, and they are different in many ways from other kids their age. But they're still just kids.
Yesterday, I had a 7 year old come into class, give me a sad, sad look and say "I just don't think I can handle being gifted today." I took him into the hall to talk and he crawled into my lap and just wept. He wanted to stay with his friends, and go to recess and lunch with them because those were the things that were important.
I let him go eat lunch and have recess with his friends. He missed about half an hour of class, but no matter. He'll catch up.
It is a wonderful thing to have a big brain that is capable of tremendous thinking. I take my job of stretching and challenging these minds very seriously. I do.
But some days, it's all about playing on the swings.
*largely because I don't have the energy for it right now.