Blog Archives

Who Should Teach Gifted Children?



Although often a  concern for parents of gifted children, this week’s chat saw an influx of teachers interested in how this question would be answered. During the course of the discussion of who should teach gifted children, many aspects of today’s educational system came into question. Do personal attributes of a teacher affect their ability to teach a distinct population? How important is certification in a specific area of instruction? Can education be delivered outside the traditional school house? What role does teacher-training play in the delivery of specialized education? And finally … is it okay to use gifted students as teaching assistants in the classroom?

Our first question explored whether or not a teacher had to be gifted themselves to teach gifted children. A vast majority of checklists found in academic journals suggest that this is indeed a recommended if not essential requirement for teachers interacting with gifted students. However, most (but not all) of those voicing an opinion in this chat did not believe it should be required as simply being gifted did not necessarily make one a good teacher; although it was desirable trait. Other qualities such as empathy for gifted students (see “Can Empathy for Gifted Students Be Nurtured in Teachers?” in the links below), a desire to teach in a gifted classroom, acceptance that their students might well be more intelligent than the teacher and adequate professional development were mentioned as more important.

Certification was a different matter. Clearly, most felt  it was essential that teachers be certified in gifted education if they were teaching in a traditional classroom. Celeste, a homeschooling mother in Australia, expressed it this way ~ “YES – what vocation allows professionals to serve without relevant qualifications?” It was pointed out that the certification process should be meaningful with extensive review of the nature of giftedness including issues such as twice-exceptional (gifted and LD), asynchronous development and social-emotional needs. Certification was also seen as a pathway to better understanding gifted children.

Celeste, a homeschooling mother in Australia, expressed it this way ~ “YES – what vocation allows professionals to serve without relevant qualifications?”

Many of those who regularly attend #gtchat homeschool their gifted children so we believed that it was important to recognize this growing segment of the homeschooling community. Gifted homeschoolers told us that for most it was a necessity as regular educational settings simply could not meet the needs of their children. Parents felt they knew their children better, were qualified to teach or had access to resources in their communities or online (see link to Gifted Homeschoolers Forum). They also told us how much work they put into educating their children and the sacrifices that had been made to have a parent available to homeschool.

An edited (we don’t think you care to see all the retweets!) transcript of the full chat may be found at Storify. Check out the beautiful new interface that Storify has provided us making our transcripts much easier to read!

gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered byTAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Can Empathy for Gifted Students Be Nurtured in Teachers?

Teaching Gifted Children: National Guidelines & State Requirements from Duke TIP

Ohio: Teaching Gifted Students

Professional Training for Teachers of the Gifted & Talented

Maryland: Criteria for Excellence Gifted & Talented Program Guidelines

NM: Gifted Education Licensure Endorsement Guide (pdf)

Knowledge & Skill Standards in Gifted Education for All Teachers  the NAGC

NAGC-CEC Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted

NAGC – CEC Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted & Talented Education Guidelines (pdf)

Using NAGC-CEC Teacher Preparation Standards in CAEP Accreditation Process

Advice for New Gifted Education Specialists

Gifted Education Professional Development Package from the Australian Government Department of Education *Excellent resource for teachers

How Are Gifted Teachers Different from Other Teachers? (pdf) by Dr. Linda Silverman

What Are the Characteristics of Effective Teachers of the Gifted? by Carol Fertig

What Are the Most Effective Characteristics of Teachers of the Gifted? (pdf) 1997

Characteristics & Competencies of Teachers of Gifted Learners: The Hong Kong Teacher Perspective (pdf)

IL: Standards for Endorsement in Gifted Education

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Homeschooling Gifted Children” from Hoagies Gifted

Creative Home Schooling: A Resource Guide for Smart Families (Amazon) by Lisa Rivero

Homeschooling Highly Gifted Children by Kathi Kearney

Homeschooling with Profoundly Gifted Kids by Kathryn Finn

Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom

One Thing We’d Like to Tell The Teachers of Our Gifted Children


Photo of teacher courtesy of By the U.S. Census Bureau (the U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Feature Photos) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Special Guest: Stacy Hughes Visual Spatial Learners

Stacy Hughes

#gtchat was joined by Texas teacher, Stacy Hughes, to chat about Visual Spatial Learners. Stacy began her teaching career at the middle school level for gifted in Florida in 1990.  She taught for 10 yrs before teaching overseas. In 2009, she began teaching grades 3-5 GT in Texas.

Stacy shared that VSL learners are characterized by mainly thinking in pictures. They must visualize to learn. Some think in snapshots, some in movies. They learn in spurts, and can intuitively take learning a few steps farther. They see patterns and relationships in things. Many chat participants shared their experiences as VSL learners. A full transcript may be found here.


Gifted Development Center: Visual Spatial Learners

Visual Spatial Learners from @HoagieGifted

Eye to Eye: Connecting with Gifted Visual-Spatial Learners (Teaching Strategies) (pdf)

Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner (book) from Linda Silverman

Upside Down Brilliance

Upside-Down Brilliance (presentation handout) Silverman

Visual-Spatial Learners (book) by Alexandra Golon from Prufrock Press 


How Homeschooling Saved a Visual Spatial Learner 

Are You a Visual-Spatial Learner? From Deborah Mersino 

CruSHing TaLL PoPPies: Visual-Spatial Learners: Tapping into Their Creativity and Potential

Serving Visual-Spatial Learners (book) by Steve Coxon from Prufrock Press

Serving Visual Spatial Learners Prufrock

Parenting a Visual Spatial Child 

Eclectic Homeschooling: A Visual-Spatial Learner at Work

Visual-Spatial Learners Page from @cybraryman1 

Sensory Awareness Page from @cybraryman1 

Visual Literacy Page from @cybraryman1

Is Your Child a Visual-Spatial Learner? From Prufrock Press Blog

“I Think in Pictures, You Teach in Words: The Gifted Visual Spatial Learner” by Leslie Sword

Raising Topsy-Turvy Kids: Successfully Parenting Your Visual-Spatial Child (book) Golon/Silverman

Helping Your Children Build on Their Visual-Spatial Strength in a World of Words” (pdf) from NAGC Parenting for High Potential September 2006 

 “If You Could See the Way I Think A Handbook for Visual-Spatial Kids” 

Posts about VSL on Sprite’s Site

Twice Exceptional: Is It a Gift?

Reading Up on VSL on Sprite’s Site

Visual-Spatial Thinking

Is there a Dimmer Switch for the Memory Elephant? On Sprite’s Site

The Gifted Introvert

An important topic not often covered in discussions about gifted individuals, this chat was quite active and experienced some lively debate! It was exciting to see many new faces and old friends with participants from 18 states and 5 countries.

The chat covered such questions as “Is introversion and shyness the same thing?”, “Can introversion and extroversion exist at the same time?” and “How can teachers help the introverted gifted child?” A full transcript may be found here.

PLEASE NOTE: Our next chat “Educating for Global Competence” is THURSDAY, 9/12 @5PM ET/4PM CT/22.00 UK/7.00 (ET AUS – Fri). There will be no chat the following day.


We Are the Introverts (comic) courtesy of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Introversion: The Often Forgotten Factor Impacting the Gifted from SENG Gifted

What is the difference between being shy and being introverted?”

Introversion and Giftedness” (pdf) from Dr. Linda Silverman (1993)

The Gifted Introvert” (2002)

The Creative Personality: Both Extroverted and Introverted

Introversion vs. Shyness: The Discussion Continues

Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts” (video)TED Talks

The Development of Shyness and Social Withdrawal (Amazon)

After the Show: The Many Faces of the Performer from Scott Barry Kaufman

Make Your Class Cozy for Gifted Introverts” from Ian Byrd  

Why Are Such a High Proportion of Gifted People Introverted?

Introversion and the Highly Gifted

Supporting Exhausted Parents of Gifted Children

“We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves.”

~ Jerry Blumengarten

After insisting that ‘duct tape’ was not the answer, the moderator introduced the first question of this chat which involved considering why parents of gifted children are so exhausted. The responses were varied and not always expected. “They are often screaming into the wind trying to get assistance for the very child who is exhausting them at home.” “Because gifted and 2E kids do not have an off-switch – they are on full pace full intensity 24/7!””They’re often married to OTHER gifted people, which adds an entirely new layer to the whole dynamic.” “Even finding a sitter can be difficult!” The full transcript can be found on this blog.

Participants offered some strategies to help parents deal with the stress. “Just keep swimming. Find a tribe, read the books, have a plan A-Z.” “Cut yourself some slack. It’s not about being super parent.” “Do not rely on traditional parenting advice! Time outs and giving choices never worked for me!” “Don’t worry about the opinions of people who don’t live under your roof: friends, family, teachers, bosses, etc.”


Why Parenting a Gifted Child Is Lonely

Teaching Techniques for Inattentive and Overactive Children (Silverman)

Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities: Lost Treasures

Parenting Gifted Children

Probably 5 Challenges of Raising Gifted Children (That You Never Thought Of)

How to Recognize a Parent of a Gifted Child

Gifted Children: Where to Find Help

“I Don’t Brag About My Gifted Kid” from @laughingatchaos

“If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?” by @laughingatchaos via @GiftedHF

“Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children” from @GiftedHF

“Parenting a Gifted Child Is …” from @SENG_Gifted

A Parents’ Guide to Gifted Children (Webb, Gore, Amend, DeVries)

Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children (DeLisle)

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Page  

Books and Book Reviews from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling Series

Bright, Talented, & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners

Giftedness 101 by Linda Silverman

%d bloggers like this: