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Giftedness ‘In Focus’ at TAGT

TAGT 2014 New Logo

New TAGT Logo 2014

The week we look forward to each year … our LIVE chat from the Annual Conference of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented … is history now, but oh what a week it was!

TAGT 2014 The Plaza Ft Worth

The Plaza in Fort Worth

TAGT 2014 Fort Worth Water Gardens

Fort Worth Water Gardens

Fort Worth provided a beautiful setting and gorgeous weather! Attendees were treated to two exceptional keynotes and extraordinary professional development sessions. Tweets were flowing at more than at any other gifted conference.

TAGT 2014 Patty G-W1

Dr. Patricia Gatto-Walden at the Parent Conference

TAGT 2014 Ian Byrd

Ian Byrd of Byrdseed Gifted speaking at the Conference

TAGT 2014 Ginger Lewman

Ginger Lewman speaking to educators at the Conference

TAGT took the opportunity to roll out their new logo (above) and new brand message (see video below). As impressive as it is technologically savvy … the underlying message is TAGT’s  commitment to support gifted children and adults in Texas and around the world via their extensive resources for educators and parents (see links below); support of Global #gtchat on Twitter; and conferences throughout the year, both statewide and regionally.

Wednesday was slated for Pre-Conference Institutes that included full morning and afternoon sessions for teachers to delve deeper into topics in gifted education. A Welcome Reception afforded attendees the opportunity to renew old friendships and network with leaders in the gifted community from across the country.

Thursday morning was highlighted by a keynote from Nikhil Goyal, a recent guest on #gtchat. This was followed by a full day of presentations and capped off with an Award Ceremony to celebrate the contributions of the 2014 State Administrator, Teacher, Rising Star Teacher, Parent and Advocate of the Year and winners of the Annual Legacy Book Awards.

TAGT 2014 Nikhil

Nikhil Goyal

Eagerly anticipated, Scott Barry Kaufman’s keynote on Friday morning was a highlight of the conference. Frequently interrupted by applause and nodding approval, the audience of teachers, parents and professionals from the gifted community showed their appreciation of his message with a standing ovation at the end of his remarks. Intelligent, witty and inspiring, Dr. Kaufman spoke of his early life misplaced in special education and his journey into the gifted program in his final year of high school through self-advocacy and the encouragement of a single teacher who recognized his abilities and saw his potential.

TAGT 2014 SBK

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

Immediately after the keynote, Global #gtchat got underway. It was an exhilarating experience to be able to do a LIVE chat with participants tweeting together and many others ‘stopping by’ to offer support. This year’s chat shared the possibilities of what state gifted organizations can do by showcasing TAGT’s efforts in Texas. Please check out the links at the end of this post. A full transcript of the chat can be found on our Storify page.

We would like to thank Mrs. Tami Terry for her assistance in planning our TweetUp in Fort Worth at the Plaza. Thanks also goes to Mrs. Angie French, a member of the #gtchat Advisory Board, for her technical assistance at #gtchat on Friday morning. This was her third consecutive year for helping us out!

Our LIVE chat and presence at the conference was made possible by the great Team at TAGT: JJ Colburn, CAE, Executive Director; Tracy Weinberg, Associate Director; Lisa Varner, CMP, Executive Assistant and Meetings Manager; Rose Sero, Marketing and Communications Manager; Justin Abels-Hensel, Member Services Coordinator; and Adam McKeivier, Development Manager.

Global #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 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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Photos: Courtesy of TAGT and Lisa Conrad.

Links:

TAGT Website

TAGT 2014 Annual Conference

TAGT 2014 Annual Parent Conference

TAGT Scholarship Fund

TAGT Summer Scholarships

TAGT Legacy Book Awards

TAGT On Demand

TAGT Online Training for Gifted and Talented Teachers (Video 2:31)

Gifted and Talented Online Staff Development by TAGTonDemand.com (Video 2:38)

TAGT Annual Awards 2014

TAGT Membership Levels and Benefits

TAGT Publications: Pulse and TEMPO

TAGT 2015 Leadership Conference

2015 TAGT Parent Conference/Summer Program Expo at Klein ISD 1/24/15

2015 TAGT Parent Conference/Summer Program Expo at Round Rock ISD 2/21/15

TAGT Parent Conference 2014 Parent Promo (Video 1:04)

TAGT Annual Conference 2014 Administrator Promo (Video 1:11)

TAGT Parent Support Group Information

TAGT List of Helpful Education Apps

TAGT Suggested Readings for Educators

TAGT Suggested Readings for Parents

TAGT List of K-12 Summer Programs

Meet the TAGT Staff

Meet the TAGT Board of Directors http://goo.gl/YtP5mQ

TAGT on Effective Advocacy http://goo.gl/l5Kb4R

#gtchat Page on TAGT Website http://goo.gl/6pFrK

#gtchat Page at Storify http://goo.gl/2qwhha

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Who Should Teach Gifted Children?

Teacher

 

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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

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

The Role of Teacher Perspective in Educating Gifted Students

“How much does a teacher’s attitude about giftedness affect their teaching of gifted students?” was the first question we considered in this chat. There seemed to be general agreement that it plays a major role in meeting or not meeting the needs of identified gifted learners. The moderator pointed out that gifted students are the ‘group’ of students making the least progress among all groups and that teachers and administrators needed to be made aware of this fact. It was also pointed out that teacher attitude towards gifted children is responsible for a great deal of friction with parents.

A lesser known issue was discussed concerning the interaction between teachers of gifted students and the rest of the faculty. Too often gifted teachers feel isolated. Teachers in Pull-Out Programs may have little interaction with faculty or staff. Negative attitudes based on misplaced views of gifted students spill over into school policy which also affects them.

Suggestions on how to improve the situation included more courses for pre-service teachers in gifted education at the undergraduate level, gifted certification for any teacher involved in teaching gifted students, providing information about giftedness to general education teachers and on-going professional development in gifted education. A full transcript of the chat may be found here.

Links:

Teacher Perspectives Regarding Gifted Diverse Students

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

Teaching Strategies to Educate Gifted Children (Slideshare)

Teachers’ Attitudes Towards the Gifted: The Importance of P.D. & School Culture (pdf)

Journal of the World Council for Gifted & Talented Children Aug/Dec 2011 (pdf) (multiple articles)

Experimenter Expectations

Pygmalion Effect (Wikipedia)

Can Gifted Learners Really Be Challenged in the Regular Classroom?

This year’s Back-to-School #gtchat discussed whether or not gifted learners could really be challenged in the regular classroom. Many different opinions were expressed including the belief by many that it was possible, but rarely occurred.  A full transcript may be found here.

Most participants agreed that gifted learners do in fact learn differently; although several teachers pointed out that all children learn differently. This conclusion laid the basis for discussing various instructional strategies; their appropriateness and viability in the classroom over time.

Differentiation seemed to be the most widely used strategy for working with gifted students. A timely blog post by Ginger Lewman, “A Case Against Differentiated Instruction“, posed an alternate view.

Everyone in the chat seemed to agree that two factors … professional development in gifted education for teachers and teachers’ attitude toward gifted students … played a critical role in the delivery of services.

Links:

Instructional Strategies for Gifted Students 

High-Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB

Differentiation for Gifted Learners (Fall 2013) from Richard Cash 

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners from Davidson Gifted

Instructional Strategies for Gifted Education from the #gtchat Blog

What All Teachers in Regular Classrooms Can do for the Gifted

High Ability and Gifted Students in the Regular Program: Left Behind?

The Plight of the Gifted from Georgia Tech

The Miseducation of Our Gifted Children from Davidson Gifted

Gifted Kids and Elementary School from the Berkeley Parents Network

CCLebrate Learning 2013 – 2014 Parent Handbook (pdf)

Motivating Without Grades from IEA Gifted

Promoting a Positive Achievement Attitude w/Gifted & Talented Students from Davidson Gifted

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