Teachers! We Need to Talk!

It's Time to Strengthen our Gifted Program!

Let's Go Over the Basics.

Our school has a large gifted population. We have many Spectrum and APP students in every class, K-5, at our school, and this population is growing in number each year. Are we doing all we can to meet these students' needs?

According to the NAGC:

"Academically gifted and talented students in this country make up approximately six to ten percent of the total [nationwide] student population (three to five million students). These students differ from typical students in terms of learning style, depth and complexity of understanding, and potential. [However] For many gifted students, much of the time they spend in school is wasted; they have already mastered the material and are marking time until they are allowed to skip a grade or are permitted to take college-level courses."

(http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/gifted-education-us)

Sound familiar?

The Illinois Association for Gifted Children tells us,

"We must go beyond knowing that gifted and talented children “score at the top” and focus on their learning growth" (http://www.iagcgifted.org/advocacy)

So we must ask the question, What does it mean to focus on learning growth for gifted students? There are things we can--we must--do right now, in every classroom, to maximize the learning growth for our Spectrum, APP, and yes, all students, in our classrooms.

We will begin our discussion with these points:

1. Understanding what giftedness means (because it's probably not what you think). It's not an IQ test result, and it's not simply the fast learner. According to the NAGC, "the label “gifted” in a school setting means that when compared to others his or her age or grade, a child has an advanced capacity to learn and apply what is learned in one or more subject areas, or in the performing or fine arts.' (http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/myths-about-gifted students)

2. Breaking down some myths about gifted students.

3. Learning some effective ways to work right now, today, with our gifted students.

4. Deciding together how to build a stronger learning environment for our gifted students in our building, beyond in-class time.

5. Working effectively with parents and community members to create a supportive system for our gifted population.

6. Understanding the national standards in gifted education for our students.

7. Knowing who to contact to get further involved in advocating for gifted education programs and funding.

Together we can--together we must--work to strengthen our gifted education program.

For Further Discussion:

Let's Embrace The Bigger Picture:

A Family's Responsibility:

  • Knowing and communicating your child's passions, interests, strengths and talents.

  • Creating a plan to further your child’s interests outside the classroom.

  • Getting involved to assist the growth of the gifted population in school as well as in the district at large.

  • Knowing who to contact to advocate for the rights of gifted students.

Community Involvement:

  • Becoming informed of the needs of gifted education in our community.

  • Getting involved in volunteering in schools to support and strengthen gifted education in the classroom, as well as in after-school and weekend programs.

  • Contacting local schools or the head of gifted education for Seattle Public Schools to find ways you can help.

  • Advocating for a stronger, more visible gifted education program.

Professional Organizations:

  • Supporting gifted student programs by allowing students learn from your knowledge and expertise. Setting up mentorship programs or volunteer training opportunities for students in your community.

  • Supporting gifted student programs through financial donations.

  • Educating yourself about gifted education and discover more ways to involve yourself and your organization.