If you’re a teacher for any length of time, it soon becomes obvious to you which kind of students you are teaching for the year. You are also able to spot those children who are gifted, and often their test scores and records provide proof for what you have already suspected. Here are a few ways you can better teach your gifted students, so that they can continue to excel.
The first thing you can do is to do avoid a lot of team work where you pair your strongest students with your weakest students. It often turns into an upsetting situation for all the kids involved. Would you like it if someone put you on a professional NFL team to run maneuvers? Of course not, so try to keep team matchups equal. If you do team projects, try to pair the children based on their ability to do the work together.
You might try giving your gifted students less practice work. Gifted students don’t need to practice math concepts over and over again for example, because they can grasp the concepts more easily than other children. When they have done a few practice questions and are confident that they understand what you’re working on, allow them some time to work on something else quietly.
Gifted children can often have challenges with the school-based curriculum because their interests lie elsewhere, or because they have already discovered the topic you are covering on their own. Give them a chance to present advanced themes, and to work a bit more independently on some topics.
Enlist the help of the gifted child’s parents. This can be a great way to learn more about a kid, and a wonderful way for the parents to communicate with you as well. The parents can be a great partner in reaching your gifted student.
Talk to your principal and guidance counselors about getting outside help for gifted kids. Whether your school runs a gifted students program or not, it’s often a good idea to get other educators involved in the education of these students. The more people working toward a rewarding experience for children, the better.
Allow your gifted students a chance to grow. These students are often terribly bored in a traditional school environment. They don’t see the point of doing a lot of schoolwork just to do it, and can easily seem like troublemakers because they don’t seem to fit the mold of regular students.
You have to build a relationship built on trust with these kids, so that they are able to show you what they know, and share the different way they see things. When you reward their strengths and give them opportunities to present you with their best, they will. It’s an ongoing process, so be patient.
Gifted students can be a fascinating group to watch as a teacher. You just have to make sure that you do everything to help these kids recognize all of their potential.
Considering placing a gifted child in a gifted education program? Read these articles.
When To Place A Child In A Gifted Education Program
Finding A Gifted Education Program To Unlock Hidden Potential