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DMN Reports that Teachers Need More Specialized Training in Gifted Education

September 10, 2009
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CGA believes that specialized training for teachers in gifted education is one of the best ways to ensure that the needs of gifted and talented students are being met in the classroom, and we are not alone.  In an August 9th article in the Dallas Morning News, Karel Holloway reported that advocates for gifted students agree that they want teachers to have more specialized training in gifted education.

As reported, gifted students are the only special population in the state of Texas that doesn’t require a special certification to teach.  Teachers must be specially certified to teach disabled students or bilingual education, but no special credentials are needed to teach gifted students.   Coppell ISD requires teachers to have 30 hours in GT professional development with an additional 6 hours each year they are teaching in the GT program.

As mentioned in the DMN article, there is a myth that gifted students can take care of themselves and that they will thrive no matter what. But there is a difference between ‘gifted and talented’ and ‘gifted and thriving.’  Michael Sayler at the University of North Texas equated it to being like a child who has slightly bad eyesight and then gets glasses. They may have done OK, but they missed a lot.

Kim Wootton, an English and Geography teacher at New Tech noted in a scholarship application that “GT learners are often the overlooked groups of people in the classrooms…..Like ALL learners, GT students need and deserve teachers who are trained to meet their unique needs and who care about staying trained in order to do so.”

Since the inception of the association, CGA has granted over $23,000 to educators to attend state and national conferences on gifted education as well as local workshops.  These funds translate to GT training for 109 teachers, administrators, and school board members over the years.

Eileen Krueger, AP-GT Literature Teacher at Coppell High School said this in her recent scholarship application, “I realize that my profession has not stood still since I received my degrees and certification, and I want to make sure I offer Coppell’s gifted youth a state-of-the-art education in English literature.”

This year, CGA will award over fifteen educator scholarships to the National Association for Gifted Children conference in St. Louis in November and the December conference of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented for teachers like Eileen who have the passion to reach our children.  Read more about those scholarship recipients here.

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