Monday, June 15, 2009

Things I do Well: Gifted and Talented Teaching

At the moment, I'm taking a bit of time to reflect on where I want to improve and what I'm doing well. You can find the master list of reflections here.

Gifted and Talented Teaching

Over the last three years, I have been fortunate enough to teach a number of classes with Gifted and Talented students, and this year almost my whole class is made up of these students. I've been trying to get my head around what I do that makes me good at this, but I think I'll have to put it into dot point form.

What I do well with Gifted teaching
  • I work hard to understand these children. I do an awful lot of reading and reflecting on gifted education and students, as well as attending any PD opportunities which come around.
  • I like these children. You would be surprised at how many teachers do not like these children. I'm always hearing 'They're not really gifted, are they?', and every single time one of my students does anything slightly naughty, I hear about it. But these are intelligent, funny, passionate kids - why wouldn't you like them?
  • I try new things. If something isn't working, we try something new. I've got no problem putting my hand up and saying 'oops'.
  • I encourage them to say oops. Perfectionism is such a problem in the classroom so there has to be encouragement to take risks. I work hard to create a safe place for this risk taking.
  • We celebrate achievement. Any achievement. Sport, music and academic. We have a bit of a competition going for the best pun of the year at the moment.
  • I have a HUGE classroom library and I'm passionate about it - often these guys love to read, but haven't always found the right book for them.
So there's some of the things I think I do well with gifted education. I'm sure there will be much much more to talk about on this subject!


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