Gifted and talented students deserve just as much attention as other learners. Case studies have shown that the teachers who devote their time to these students make huge differences in their academic careers and motivate them to strive, according to the University of Kansas.
If helping this special segment of the student population is something you’d like to get involved in professionally, it may be wise to learn more about the field. Here are five great online resources that no gifted resource specialist or prospective education student should miss.
This organization focuses on supporting students and their families, but they also provide a number of resources specifically for educators. This is a good place to access research and learn more about the kinds of education practices, programming standards, training and relevant industry topics professionals might encounter when dealing with gifted students.
NAGC releases a number of publications targeted at those who teach high-potential students. Their columns and articles serve as a nice complement to the organization’s career center for gifted resource specialists.
2. The National Society for the Gifted & Talented
This not-for-profit organization works with school districts, educational institutions, corporations, communities and gifted and talented curricula providers across the country. In addition to supporting students directly, it provides established educators and university students with access to a number of vital resources, such as up-to-date listings of national and state-level associations and departments.
NSGT also facilitates summer programs for students between the ages of 5 and 17-years-old. Those looking to increase their professional training or pursue employment opportunities, such as internships and long-term positions, may find the job board useful.
This online resource maintained by the Texas Education Agency contains a wealth of interesting material. Education students who are just starting their first jobs or study programs in classrooms will undoubtedly find it handy.
The toolkit covers a number of important methodologies and concepts that apply to learning theory, content knowledge, product development and research processes. True, education students are sure to encounter some of this information elsewhere, but the toolkit makes it a bit more applicable to this specific field and contains a number of links to other established resources.
The IGET Network website hosts a number of globally-applicable seminars that introduce the field and practice of gifted education as well as opinions and commentary from actual educators. The resources you’ll find here include videos as well as training that you can enroll in. You can also learn more about the field by reading the organization’s newsletter or registering for membership. IGET Network links to a number of free online courses that may be good refreshers for getting up to speed before teaching specific subjects.
Gifted resource specialists come from a huge range of different backgrounds, and the positions they end up filling vary widely. Since gifted education isn’t nationally standardized, your state or locale may have unique requirements for becoming a gifted teacher or resource specialist. Networking online is a good way to learn what kinds of professionals succeed in your region or educational sub-field. LinkedIn’s profession-oriented groups also offer a lot of info on the kinds of degree coursework you may want to pursue to make your chosen career path more viable.
Related Resource: 5 Great Online Education Resources for Teachers
Becoming a gifted resource specialist or gifted and talented teacher is a rewarding challenge. As you pursue your degree, keep these resources in mind so that you can use them to hone your professional skills.