Meeting the needs of gifted and talented students in middle and high school is often a subject approached very differently by those in general education and gifted advocates. This week at #gtchat we discussed how to best meet the needs of these students with Colin E. Seale of thinkLaw. Joining Colin, was Sarah Pfeiler, Curriculum and Training Manager at thinkLaw.
So many gifted and talented kids breeze through elementary school and lack of challenge leaves them ill-prepared for middle and high school. These identified students face many teachers who lack professional development and knowledge of what the ‘gifted’ label entails, or have inappropriate expectations. Twice exceptional students may face the biggest challenge when schools see only deficits and fail to support strengths.
Gifted and talented students often struggle when there is no “right” answer. Educators must learn how to channel perfectionism into positive action; involve student voice and choice in relation to passions. They should share with the student what perfectionism is and is not.
Most gifted students are pulling rather than being pushed when it comes to technology in school. Allowing them to create their own tech is a great incentive; for example; learn coding as a second language.
Today’s high students will have careers in fields that do not yet exist. Future prospects should be partnered with passions and mentorships. Gifted students are often the visionaries! They can be supported by providing opportunities to explore personal choices in their education.
Gifted and talented students go to college and are ‘big fish’ in a ‘bigger pond.’ How do you prepare them for the transition out of high school? GT students who are challenged in high school are better prepared for the transition to higher education. Educators should provide opportunities to begin the transition when ready via Early College, Dual Enrollment, and Early Out.
How do you help gifted and talented students to broaden their perspective of success beyond GPA, SAT, and ACT scores? They know the score. Offer new ways to learn: PBL, Genius Hour, Design Thinking, and mentorships. Expose them to testing early so it becomes routine. Begin thinking about college and beyond earlier than age-peers.
With appropriate professional development and open minds, educators will be prepared to best serve gifted and talented students. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 1 PM NZST/11 AM AEST/1 AM UK 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 Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Empathy: Healing the Awkward Heart (video 5:49)
Perfectionism and Gifted Students (YouTube 1:04:31)
Wonderopolis (YouTube 4:20)
James and Susie (YouTube 5:15)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.