Free Spirit Publishing 1.800.735.7323
Doing Poorly on Purpose

Doing Poorly on Purpose

Strategies to Reverse Underachievement and Respect Student Dignity

published in collaboration with ASCD

With Doing Poorly on Purpose, veteran educator Jim Delisle dispels the negative associations and stereotypes connected to underachievement. By focusing on smart kids who get poor grades—not because they’re unable to do better in school but because they don’t want to—Delisle presents a snapshot of underachievement that may look far different from what we may envision it to be. There is no such thing as a “classic underachiever.” Students (and their reasons for underachieving) are influenced by a wide range of factors, including self-image, self-concept, social-emotional relationships, and the amount of dignity teachers afford their students. Helping “smart” students achieve when they don’t want to is not an easy task, but you can reengage and inspire students using Delisle’s insights and practical advice on these topics:
  • autonomy
  • access
  • advocacy
  • alternatives
  • aspirations
  • approachable educators
Smart, underachieving students need the reassurance that they are capable, valuable, and worth listening to despite their low academic performance. In a word, they want dignity. Don’t we all?
Read More


Paperback $26.95 25353W Paperback 25353W $26.95
ISBN: 978-1-4166-2535-3
Audience: For teachers, gifted program coordinators, and administrators K–12
Trim Size: 6" x 9"
Page Count: 166
  • 2018 Legacy Book® Award
Why Your Gifted Child Isn’t Living Up to Expectations (And What You Can Do About It)

Of all the issues confronting gifted kids, their parents, and their teachers, one of the most contentious can be whittled down to one word: expectations. Whether it is concern over grades (“A few B-plusses will keep you out of the top-tier colleges!”), career selection (“I don’t think wanting to become a fashion designer qualifies as a ‘gifted’ job choice.”), or choices of friends (“Do you really think this is the right crowd for you to associate with?”), expectations rear their heads on an almost daily basis in the lives of gifted kids and the adults who care about their well-being.

Continue reading on the Free Spirit Blog.

Related Resources

Get Gifted Students Talking
Start Seeing and Serving Underserved Gifted Students
RTI Success Updated 2019
Teach For Attention

Free Spirit’s monthly e-newsletter, Upbeat News, is full of practical tips, free downloads, and special offers. Sign up today!