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Education of Gifted Children Started in the 1970's, America's Gifted & Talented programs are used to enhance the curriculum of students included in either category in order to challenge and strengthen their unique abilities

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Education of Gifted Children Started in the 1970's, America's Gifted & Talented programs are used to enhance the curriculum of students included in either category in order to challenge and strengthen their unique abilities. These students are usually provided a separate class with specialized lessons in all areas and a teacher with a special degree in gifted education. I feel that it is important that the teacher was a gifted student who would know what the students must face as "above average" members of their school. The job market for gifted education offers a wide range of opportunity and gifted teachers are needed all over the country. One of the earliest programs for gifted and talented students was set up in 1974, at The Old Donation Center, in Virginia Beach. Students scoring within the top 3% of students on an assessment test are referred here to be further challenged. These students are considered gifted and have special teachers and classes to promote development of their talents and minds. Programs like this began to pop up around the nation in the 70's; however, gifted students were looked down upon by teachers, parents, and peers. ...read more.


Each class is presided-over by a teacher that has specialized degrees in gifted education. Almost every school in the United States has a need for a gifted class, making job opportunities endless; there are never enough. Gifted teachers must have both a degree in education (secondary or elementary) and a degree in special education (gifted). These teachers are individuals that must have stamina, people skills, and open minds. It is also important (to the students) that the teacher himself/herself was also classified as gifted. It sets a common bond, shows them that the teacher understands the problems they face as so-called "smart kids". These students are often ridiculed by their peers and looked-down upon by their teachers. They are often separated from others their age by a barrier that can only be described as their "intelligence". This is why, often, gifted teachers have degrees in administration, counseling, or psychology. All teachers that I interviewed told me that a continually upgraded education is a must (as are additional degrees). In order to keep up with the students one must attend seminars, workshops, special classes, etc. ...read more.


Though the pay is average, and there is not much room to be promoted if you wish to remain in the classroom, gifted teaching has its personal rewards. Jeff Simpleton, a gifted teacher as well as a former gifted student, states, "I really think that by being gifted, I am in touch with what they have to go through. They know that I can understand." Mr. Simpleton's class consists of 6 high school students, who have many problems due to the intelligence barrier and a kind of isolation that has built up over the years between themselves and their classmates. They seem to feel that they have a reputation that they must live up to. The students try to please everyone...they push themselves with sheer motivation and determination and drive. Mr. Simpleton feels that this is "what makes them so great". He feels that anyone with a sense of adventure and a need for something new day after day would find teaching a gifted class to be the perfect job for them. Gifted teachers are important to the development of their students minds. They are understanding individuals who must work hard to make the curriculum interesting and challenging. With the proper education it is possible to go far as a teacher of the gifted. ...read more.

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