One of the best ways to support students is for their teachers to be part of a professional learning community—whether formal or informal. Beyond collaborating with teachers from the same campus or district, teachers can also benefit from becoming a part of a professional organization that focuses on culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse (CLED) and/or gifted learners.
Professional Learning Guidelines
Districts are encouraged to provide professional development training on recognizing the characteristics of CLED students to staff prior to the referral period for gifted/talented screening. According to the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students, “All personnel involved in the planning, creation, delivery and administration of services to gifted/talented students possess the knowledge required to develop and provide differentiated programs and services.”
State Plan Guidance
In addition to the thirty (30) hour initial professional learning requirement (5.1) and six (6) hour update requirement (5.6), other professional learning guidelines include the following:
5.3 “Teachers are encouraged to obtain additional professional learning in their teaching discipline and/or in gifted/talented education.”
5.4 “A written plan for professional learning in the area of gifted/talented education that is based on identified needs is implemented and updated annually.’
5.11 “Evaluation of professional learning activities for gifted/talented education is ongoing and related to state teacher gifted/talented education standards, and the results of the evaluation are used in making decisions regarding future staff development plans (19 TAC §89.5 and TAC §233.1).”
As the gifted population becomes more representative of the school or district population, consideration should be given to assist teachers with more culturally responsive teaching practices and how they may apply to the gifted classroom. Just as equity plans are in place to ensure that schools and districts identify gaps and take actions to address differences in CLED students, additional equity plans should be developed to identify, support, and retain CLED gifted students.
Texas Lesson Study (TXLS)
Job-embedded professional development in which teachers work collaboratively to develop, teach, and revise research-based lessons.
Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT) Conferences
Conferences and professional learning opportunities to provide educators tools to inspire gifted students and help fulfill their unique potential.
Professional Book Studies
Ideas for equity books studies where groups of G/T teachers read and have structured, yet meaningful conversations as they read the book.