Gifted and Talented
Tips for Teachers
- 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 G/T 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. G/T students should be afforded opportunities to attempt more challenging work but should not be penalized for their efforts.