Gifted Education Teaching

A difficult area for many teachers in today's classrooms is trying to keep their gifted students challenged and invested in their education. Having a gifted child in the class presents an interesting situation – how does a teacher go about creating a curriculum that's interesting to all students, while still keeping the group feeling in the classroom? Over the years, many schools have striven to connect gifted students with their peers and keep their curriculum at a challenging level.

Is There a Gifted Student in Your Classroom?

If you have a student that meets this general criteria then they may be gifted. You never know what a gifted child can achieve when they are challenged properly. Students who are gifted generally stand out by:

  • Finishing their work more quickly than others
  • Requesting additional work
  • Asking questions about what they're learning
  • Striving to learn as much as they can about a particular subject
  • Taking on hobbies or interests of a complexity that is well above their age level

Enabling Gifted Students to Reach Their Full Potential

Most gifted students will spend the majority of their school lives within a regular classroom, which unfortunately in many cases does not meet their special requirements, meaning the majority of these students will not live up to their full potential and become disillusioned. In fact, these students may even score below their peers throughout their elementary and secondary school years, as a result of educational malaise.

Teachers need to be able to include gifted students in the regular classroom activities while providing them with opportunities to challenge themselves.

In the past many schools simply geared their curriculum towards the common denominator, and parents of gifted children either let their kids go along with the status quo, or spent their own resources to put their children in a more challenging situation with private school or tutors.

Now many schools realize that gifted students are a precious commodity and can be a valuable resource when integrated into the public school system.

Keeping Gifted Students Engaged

While many schools have tried one-dimensional programming, gifted students can only realize their potential with a customized approach that meets their abilities and focuses on their interests. Teachers should try to encourage learning in gifted students by:

  • Providing them with additional materials in areas of interest
  • Promote participation in extra-curricular clubs, where students will have a chance to meet other like-minded individuals

Teachers of a gifted student must try to identify the student's needs for learning and development, and help the student gain admission to programs that will provide the structure and challenge they're lacking. Teachers should keep track of the student's progress and help them make changes where necessary.

Additionally, educators need to help students find and use available resources and help them become more responsible for their learning path. With the help of administrators, teachers, staff, and parents, a gifted student will have a great chance of achieving their maximum potential, instead of being lost in mediocrity.

For further resources and more detailed information, visit the National Association for Gifted Children.

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