The qualities of teachers needed by gifted students
The Qualities ofTeachers Needed byGifted Students
Do teachers have to be gifted themselves in orderto teach gifted students? Rest assured that youdon't have to
have a superior IQ to teach giftedstudents. The truth is that many teachers whopursue training in gifted
education have somepersonal connection to gifted students. They mayhave children who have been identified
as gifted,or perhaps they went through gifted programsthemselves. In the interest of being able to handleany
issue in their class, many teachers seektraining in gifted education. Of course, it surehelps to be a wonderful
teacher who welcomesthe challenge of facilitating academic progressfor all students.
Teachers who are successful with gifted kidsoften possess certain qualities that gifted childrenrespond to
positively. They tend to:
Respect students' strengths and weaknesses and have the ability to encourage students to accept both without
Be enthusiastic about teaching and the joy oflifelong learning.
Have confidence and competency in teachingtheir content area(s).
Have flexible teaching styles and be comfortablewith situations in which studentsare flexibly grouped for
learning and somestudents are doing different activities thanothers.
Possess strong skills in listening, leading discussionsand using inquiry-based instruction.
Be knowledgeable about the unique characteristicsand needs of gifted students and willing to accommodate
Be willing and able to create and nurture alearning environment where it's safe to takerisks and make
Know how to praise effort more than products.
Be eager and willing to expose students to newideas and provide opportunities for exploringthose ideas.
Have a free-flowing sense ofhumor and a levelof comfort with their personal strengths andweaknesses.
Be comfortable connecting the curriculum tostudents' learning profiles, interests, and questionsand are good
at empowering students tofollow their passions.
Be well organized-though not necessarilyneat!
Source: Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom, by Susan Winebrenner