Teacher's Corner: Extending the Conversation...

There is no such thing as a typical “day in the life” for an educator of gifted and talented students. While structured schedules and prepared lessons can create an illusion of organization, as soon as the bell rings and class begins, it is truly anyone’s guess as to how the class and overall day will proceed.

Teacher's Corner 4-17.pngDespite being wholly engaged in the classroom, it is important for teachers and others who work with gifted students to share what they are doing with a wider audience of fellow faculty, administrators, and community members to improve the overall understanding of what the field of gifted and talented is all about.

How do we go beyond quick discussions in the lunchroom, conversations at local community events, or a mention in a meeting agenda to create allies in support of gifted children?  Here are a few ideas for extending the conversation.

Plan and Deliver an In–Service Presentation

Organize a presentation to give during an in-service at your school. The focus of the presentation can be about any topic, but if teachers at your school are unaware of the characteristics of a gifted child, that is a great place to start. A survey at the conclusion of your presentation will help you understand your effectiveness.

Research and Write an Informational Brochure or Background Paper

Write and disseminate to your school/district a brochure or background paper that educates others about the importance of gifted education services and highlights successes or needs. Acceleration is a practice mired in misunderstanding and sharing the real news of how it works could help many gifted children in your school or district.  

Compose a Newspaper Editorial or Commentary

Submit an editorial or commentary for publication in your local newspaper. Use it as a venue to promote an excellent program or make others aware of specific issues and barriers. NAGC’s tips on writing Letters-to-the-Editor can help get you started.

Write an Article for an Education Publication

Submit an article for publication in the pages of one of the many education journals and magazines in print and online. If you are a member of another professional organization, consider that articles or commentary in their publications will reach people who may not otherwise hear anything about identifying and serving gifted children.

Start a Parent or Teacher Gifted Idea Group

Initiate a parent or teacher group focused on learning about gifted education. This could be a book club highlighting various gifted and talented texts, a series of small-group discussions on a variety of topics, or an idea of your choosing. For some ideas on forming a parent group, check out this e- pub from NAGC and Prufrock Press.

Share the Giftedness Knows No Boundaries Campaign

The webpage, posters, and videos on GiftednessKnowsNoBoundaries.org are invaluable resources that will () will simply and effectively help you engage others in the need to learn more about our gifted and talented students.  

In this era of budget cuts, minimal to absent funding for gifted, and competing education priorities, we must find the time to expand the number of conversations about how we must and can meet the needs of high-ability students.

Thanks in advance for extending the conversation and getting it done!