Gifted and TalentedProfessional Development for Teachers
All core content teachers are required to obtain the initial 30-hours of specialized gifted and talented training and 6-hour annual training updates.
Region 11 offers GT professional development sessions in each domain throughout the year.
- New teachers have one semester from their hire date to complete the initial 30-hour GT training in the following strands:
- Nature & Needs 6-hours
- Identification & Assessment 6-hours
- Differentiation 6-hours
- Curriculum & Instruction 12-hours
- Teachers have from June 1 - May 31 to complete the 6-hour GT update in any of the above strands.
- Administrators and counselors are required to obtain 6-hours in Nature & Needs training.
- Sessions offered outside of LWISD and Region 11 require pre-approval from the Gifted/Talented Coordinator in order to count toward the initial and annual training requirements.
- Professional development records will be maintained on each campus and reported to the Director of Advanced Academics for compliance purposes.
Tips for Classroom Instruction
- Understand that gifted students, just like all students, deserve to learn and be challenged everyday.
- Recognize that gifted students come from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds and demonstrate high abilities in different ways.
- Be aware that although gifted students may understand complex concepts and process information at high levels, their emotional and behavioral responses may not match.
- Promote growth mindset by emphasizing effort over knowledge.
- Remind students that struggle comes before new learning and no one knows everything.
- Group gifted students together for at least part of the school day.
- Plan for differentiation. Use phrases like "You've shown you don't need more practice" or "You need more practice" instead of words like "qualify" or "eligible" when referring to extension work.
- Ask the GT Coordinator for lesson plan ideas, differentiation strategies, curriculum compacting resources, and help in identifying the traits of gifted and talented students from diverse backgrounds.
- Assume that gifted students are good tutors for other students. Gifted students are not responsible for the learning of others.
- Label students in front of peers or set unrealistic expectations.
- Assume that all gifted students are exemplary well-behaved students with high academic achievement. Often boredom or resistance to a challenge will manifest in retreat, noncompliance, questioning authority, or rebellion.
- Assume that gifted students are growing academically. Rely on formative and summative assessments, there may be gaps in their understanding
- Confuse extension activities with additional work. Gifted students need deeper and more complex assignments, not more of the same work.
- Include grades for more complex, above level assignments in report card averages. Grades should represent mastery of grade level TEKS. GT students should be afforded opportunities to attempt more challenging work but should not be penalized for their efforts.