Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3

I have been a middle school teacher for 13 years, and this is my first year having

a mix-model classroom schedule. With this new schedule, I teach two classes that
are considered Talented and Gifted with advanced students mixed in to the class.
It was intimidating to face this new challenge, as I had become more of an expert in
differentiation to accommodate students with learning disabilities, or students who
needed more remediation in the classroom.
With rigor being the key word in education these days, I needed a definition of
rigor. I needed to see examples of rigor being used in the classroom beyond my
current understanding. Throughout this class, I have learned examples of how to
teach with more rigor with simple things like the New American Lecture and Window
Notes. These two things take the gifted students to a new level, but I have also
found encourage growth with my on-level students. They allow for greater thought
and more interaction inside the classroom. Several of my gifted students have
even commented on how they like using Window Notes to discuss current topics in
social studies like the war in Afghanistan and the current uprisings in Israel. These
have allowed them to have a voice, as I use them in segments and allow them to
discuss solutions along with the problems in the world today.
I find that a lot of these techniques are highly engaging across all grade levels. I
will be implementing the Jigsaw method to introduce the new unit on Africas
geography. This will all students to be the expert, not just the teacher. Often when
they gain ownership, they gain confidence. I am most excited to see my on-level
students feel confident and show pride in their work and knowledge. I find that my
excitement to engage goes beyond gifted students, and is really making more of a
difference in my expectations across the board, for all my students. The class is
offering me examples of rigor that I can apply in every class several days a week.

The first thing I would want other colleagues to know about gifted/advanced
learners came from the article, Appropriate expectations for the Gifted Child. This
article points out the importance of having teachers and parents work together to
help the child reach his/her full potential. That aspect often goes overlooked as
more and more society has pitted parents against teachers. It is a community effort
to make sure children succeed, and a good relationship between parents and
teachers will do nothing but benefit a child in his/her academic endeavors. This
article also points out how important it is to expose students to the arts. In a
society, where everyone is focused on science and math, it is important that gifted
students also be allowed to explore the world through reading and other artistic
mediums. Gifted students are not just interested in math and science, and the
world opens wider for many through their imaginations.
The article also places emphasis on teachers facing their weaknesses as well.
Teachers of gifted/advanced students need to remember they are teaching children,
even if they are exceptionally bright. Often, I hear of colleagues trying to see
behaviors from 12 year olds most would not expect in a faculty meeting of highly

qualified teachers. These are children, even if they can communicate similar to
adults. We, as educators, have to accept our faults, use trial and error, and reframe
traits. We cannot expect these children to just adapt to an adult world.
Second, I would like for my colleagues to have more training on gifted females.
Girls are often overlooked, especially in classrooms where they are never the
behavior problem. They get less attention, and I think get much less personalized
education than their male peers. Society does have expectations for girls, and that
is to not be as rough and rambunctious as the boys, and this is not always the case.
They get excited and if a teacher does not see the need to pay them as much
attention, and develop lessons to engage them, they will lose confidence and drift
away from their potential. Colleagues need to work together to offer the girls
examples of non-traditional careers, and make sure they have opportunities to
investigate their higher interest topics.
Third, I wish my colleagues would take into consideration the needs of gifted
males, or really males in general. The classroom setting is not working for many of
these boys. They need to get up and move, and they need more high interest
topics. In 7th grade social studies, boys tend to do better than their girl peers
because of high interest topics such as war and conflict. They engage, and often
see higher level answers to world issues because they are engaged. Schools need
to offer more opportunities for these males to find topics of interest and push their
abilities in these areas. These boys also need more time outside or in athletic
activities. Schools need to consider this, and the development of boys, and include
more movement and programs to allow them to extend energy in positive
directions.

After teaching for 13 years, I have a strong belief in looking at the whole child,
especially in a middle school setting. The social and emotional needs of gifted
students is not too far off from what every middle school student needs. They need
peer support, a mentor for comfort, and lessons based on interest. These students
also need to be paired with like-minded others, so they feel their opinions are
appreciated and so they feel as though the quality of work is equal. Gifted students
need to feel as though they are not just given more work because they are smart,
but work that is valued and that will take them above what is considered normal.
They need to make sure their opinions are valued, but that humor is still evident in
the classroom. They are children, and they need to be pushed, but they also need
to enjoy being young and be groomed to succeed in the future.
Teaching on-level students for many years has made me more confident in my
ability to consider diversity in my classroom. My gifted classes are not as diverse as
my on-level classes, and that seems to be more related to motivation (in my
opinion), and often some behaviors are looked as not gifted and those students
tend to be removed from gifted classes or never recommended for testing. Often,
students from other cultures are either pushed by their parents, or there is no
parent involvement at all. I do take into account their background, family situation,
and emotional challenges as I plan lesson, or create summative projects. Not all

students will be able to create massive projects, with expensive tools, and that
should be taken into account so that options are given to help those students be
more successful without being embarrassed. It feels as though gifted in North
Fulton County is a socio-economic status just as it is a sign of intelligence. I see
gifted characteristics in one of my students who is living in a hotel, misses a ton of
school, and has no one at home to push the value of education. He thinks outside
of the box, manages to make high grades, and is always engaged in class. He
needed to feel valued, and every opportunity I have, he gets to be the expert or
gets to engage in the topics that interest him the most. Window Notes allowed him
to express his feelings, without anyone making fun of him for being smart. I highly
doubt he will ever be tested for gifted, but he can be placed in an advanced class,
and my goal is to have him moved next semester, and to work with him so that he
feels successful.
I have not had many opportunities to face high ability learners with
exceptionalities. I am used to smaller ones such as ADHD, and ADD, but often
students with exceptionalities are placed in co-taught classrooms. I need to
conduct more research, and observe a few classes where teachers have met the
challenge and work it positively in their classroom setting. This is my first year
teaching gifted students, and will need the most professional development in this
area. I am confident in teaching exceptionalities, but not when they are high ability.

What have I learned in this course about gifted learners and the learning process
that has changed my learning practices?
My learning has moved from a square box thinking that all gifted children are highly
motived and easy to teach, to more of a circle constantly turning with ideas of how
to engage them to keep them highly motivated or to strike importance of the topic
in their minds.

The box has evolved without sharp edges..