The best ways to communicate with parents are those that are regular in nature ~ text/email updates, newsletters, or personal invitations to school activities or events. Sometimes, spending a little extra time at regularly scheduled school meetings (parent-teacher conferences, welcome back to school night, etc.) may be all that is needed.
What information do parents of GT students need most from schools? Parents of GT students should be made aware of all the options available for their child; the entire range of academic programs K-12. Options including social-emotional interventions, enrichment opportunities through the school and out of school, and possible accommodations for twice-exceptional students. Parents should be given an opportunity to review all assessments/test scores relating to their child and be able to participate in planning sessions for IEPs or ALPs (when available). They should be given information on ways they can support their child at home.
Schools can engage and involve parents in their gifted learner’s education by inviting them to volunteer to organize or chaperone field trips, become a coach for academic competitions, or participate in classroom activities. They can provide information sessions for parents about gifted issues, gifted education, and resources available to them from state and national organizations. They can also list information on their websites for parents about online resources, local support or advocacy groups, and upcoming conferences.
Teachers can assist parents of newly identified GT students by sharing information on the criteria used to identify their child as gifted. They may periodically ask parents if they believe their child’s needs are being met and what more they’d like to see as part of their child’s education plan. Also, teachers can encourage parents to form or participate in a parent advocacy group. Oftentimes, parents can advocate for gifted programs in ways school personnel cannot.
What should teachers know about gifted education to best support parents? The best way to support parents is to become educated about gifted education and then share that information and resources with parents. Teachers may need to seek out PD at both the local level or online and consider attending gifted conferences to learn about the latest developments/research in gifted education.
How can tensions between parents and school personnel be minimized? Open channels of communication can go a long way in easing tensions between home and school. This can prevent unnecessary surprises for all involved. Teachers can reassure parents that they have their child’s best interest at heart; becoming a trusted ally can promote positive relationships between schools and parents.
A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/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 Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
Disclaimer: Some resources in our resources have affiliate links.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
All families have different abilities among parents, siblings, and extended family. Parents need to understand (and most do) that each child is unique and not compare their children to one another. They should learn to choose their words wisely and recognize social situations requiring them to react thoughtfully in order to avoid negative interactions with friends and families.
How should a parent deal with extended family member who balk at the term ‘gifted’? Parents may want to avoid confrontation and reserve comments for more private encounters. When insensitive comments are made in the presence of the child, it may be necessary to address them in the moment; but not with the child present.
When gifted children start school, it may be the first time they face not being as intellectually challenged as they were in their early years at home. Parents should be prepared for the consequences of asynchronous development which may not be as prevalent until a child enters school. It may be necessary to inform teachers and staff.
Gifted and talented children can consume much of their parents’ time leaving other family members or each other feeling neglected. When parents agree on the nature of being highly-abled or talented, things go much more smoothly. Providing enrichment and opportunities for their child can often place a significant financial burden on parents.
What unique challenges do families with gifted children face during the holiday season? The holidays can be unsettling for gifted families when daily routines are disrupted. Parents of gifted children must cope with the high expectations of others at family gatherings. Some gifted children express empathetic feelings for others during the holidays at younger ages than expected – worries about world peace or concern for those less fortunate.
Fortunately, there are organizations, websites, books, and professional who work with gifted children to turn to today. Some of these include the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, SENG, the National Association for Gifted Children, Potential Plus UK, and the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/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 Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.