Great Teaching Starts with a Strong Foundation: Online Training for Gifted Teachers

“Start from the very beginning,” by offering gifted teachers the best training available!

annlouise_first-grade-teacherOne of my favorite aunts passed away a few years ago.

Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and wish she was still around.

As a first grade teacher of 30 years, she loved to talk about all the things that are right and wrong with education today.

I picked up many life lessons from her:

  • How to keep my seat in the seat
  • That a word to the wise is sufficient
  • How to ar-tic-u-late my words (she’d emphasis in staccato)

But one of the things I will miss most are her show tunes.

I was in the second grade when she taught me one of her favorites, Do-Re-Mi from Sound of Music. “Start from the very beginning; it’s the very best place to start.”

Those words ring so true when it comes to gifted education.
Often times, we tell our gifted educators the exact outcomes we expect them to achieve with their gifted students. But great outcomes are a result of more than just clearly articulated expectations. It has to start at the beginning with great training.

Great Teaching Starts with Great Training That’s… Accessible, Convenient, and Straight from the Experts!

My aunt never fully embraced all the aspects of technology in teaching. But one thing she liked even less than learning new technology was spending her free time in mandatory, on-campus training; or, even worse, missing a day with her students!

That’s why the demand is higher than ever for online training for gifted teachers.

I am certain she’d have loved the opportunity to get her PD completed from the comfort of her own living room.

That’s why GT Ignite offers the “30 Hour Core for Educators of the Gifted and Talented,” by Joyce Juntune, Ph.D. This course not was built to fulfill Texas state requirements. So even if your state doesn’t require it, this course is sure to offer the highest level of training for your gifted teachers.

We recently interviewed fifteen G/T program coordinators to find out about their greatest challenges in training and equipping new teachers.

Here’s how GT Ignite’s 30 Hour Core alleviates challenges for G/T coordinators.

Challenge #1: Making sure teachers understand the nature and needs of gifted students

30 hour core online training for gifted teachers nature and needsThe number one thing that our focus group of G/T coordinators agree on was the absolute importance of understanding the nature and needs of gifted students.

“I want teachers to have a sense of urgency to serve the needs of gifted students. New teachers are either unaware or negatively opinionated about the needs of gifted students. I want them to seek out children of high ability and purposefully plan lessons that will both challenge and inspire them,” said one of our interviewees.

That is why GT Ignite recruited one of the leading minds in the country for this course. Dr. Juntune is a renowned consultant, trainer, professor, and lecturer with more than 45 years of experience in the field of education.

dr-joyce-juntuneShe is an instructional associate professor at Texas A&M University where she teaches graduate-level courses in her expert areas of intelligence, child and adolescent development, educational psychology, giftedness, and creativity.

Here’s what another coordinator said, “Each teacher should acquire a greater empathy for the diverse needs of all students, and a better understanding of the teacher’s role in facilitating the learning process so that every student can be successful. The 30-hour Core by Dr. Juntune at GT Ignite addresses the nature and needs of the G/T student, and also explores the many ways in which to develop a student’s knowledge, skills, and intelligence.”

Challenge #2: Teachers can’t always find the time to complete 30-hours

online training for gifted teachers-classroom strategies“Some of the challenges we have faced in providing 30-hour core training to new teachers is pulling them out of their classrooms for five days. Although we schedule them throughout the fall semester, it is still five days of instruction that teachers are out of their classrooms,” said one G/T coordinator.

Five days outside of the classroom can be overwhelming, particularly for a new teacher.

This is one of the biggest reasons that schools and school districts across the US have turned to GT Ignite as a great alternative to traditional training.

Teachers want to maximize their classroom time. GT Ignite frees up teachers to complete training at their own pace, when they aren’t able to take time away from the classroom.

“The online option diminishes the issue of lost class time due to G/T training. Additionally, the courses reflect the latest research and developments regarding the instruction of G/T learners,” said one participant.

Challenge #3: Assessing and measuring the effectiveness of training

online training for gifted teachers assessment toolsYou have a training budget, but what do you have to show for it?

Training new teachers is a great goal. But how do you know if the training you are paying for is effectively equipping your teachers

GT Ignite offers simple online training for gifted teachers, with effective assessment tools, so you can gauge whether each individual teacher has grasped key concepts and accomplished learning objectives.

One of our participating coordinators said,

“The assessments in the GT Ignite 30 hour core are more manageable in that they measure the learning appropriately and expediently. Other methods have been much more cumbersome.”

Another said, “teachers are able to complete the 30 hours at their own pace, within our timeline. It allows for more flexibility and provides another opportunity for those who are unable to attend during a particular week in the summer. Unlike other online courses, because we are utilizing Dr. Juntune’s series throughout the district, we can meet to discuss the learning in PLCs and are able to facilitate and support the learning and strategies systematically.”

Challenge #4: Access to the experts

30-hour-core online training for gifted teachersScheduling Dr. Juntune to provide training at your local school or even district can be nearly impossible.

On top of that, all your teachers would have to be available at the same time. Sounds impossible, right?

With GT Ignite “Dr. Juntune provides relevant research about each component. Any training is only as good as the presenter, and she is one of the best,” says another coordinator.

Plus, if your teachers decide to continue with GT Ignite, they have access to leading trainers like Ian Byrd, Richard Cash, Lori Comallie-Caplan, Lisa Van Gemert and Debbie Troxclair.

And that’s just a small sampling of the internationally acclaimed G/T experts featured on GT Ignite.

Challenge #5: Ongoing access to training resources

online training for gifted teachers benefitsHave you ever gone to a particularly inspiring professional development session, only to wake up the next morning thinking, “now what was it I wanted to apply in my classroom?”

GT Ignite online training for gifted teachers offers on-going access. So a teacher can revisit or retake a session as needed. Here’s what one coordinator had to say:

“The 30-hour core online provides teachers with an opportunity to hear from experts they would not have normally been exposed to in a face-to-face training in their district. The 30-hour core provides continued support to teachers by allowing them to log in and review content throughout the year. This is something they would not be able to get in previous modes of training.”

Challenge #6: The misery of a metal chair

online training for gifted teachers without hard chairsFace-to-face training is great for synergizing and collaborating with other gifted teachers. It can help build a team mentality and grow relationships in the G/T community.

But, 30-hours in a metal chair isn’t for everyone. Some of us enjoy a more flexible learning environment; training that can be completed anytime/anywhere.

30-Hour Core online training for gifted teachers – Anytime and Anywhere

“Teachers love the convenience of doing the training in the comfort of their homes, during their conference times and around their students and their personal schedules,” says one coordinator.

GT Ignite is available online 24/7, even from a mobile device. Courses can be completed on a computer, smartphone, ipad or any other device with internet access.

GT Ignite is Online Training for Gifted Teachers – And so Much More!

GT Ignite is your partner in preparing your gifted educators to meet the challenges of gifted education.

Here are some closing thoughts from our focus group of G/T coordinators:

“New teachers need to have an understanding of the variety of characteristics that make gifted students unique, including how they are similar to and different from high achieving students. They also need to get specific tools and strategies to utilize in their classrooms. GT Ignite provides both clear explanations, examples and strategies throughout the 30-hour core. Intentional redundancy of the characteristics throughout all five courses and specific, classroom-tested strategies support the new teacher.”

“Teachers are better prepared because the coursework is convenient, engaging, relevant, and based on foundational pedagogy as well as current advancements in the nature of instruction for G/T students.”

“Having the teachers complete the 30-hour core online is a huge advantage for our district. As an administrator, I have the assurance that my teachers are receiving quality instruction from known experts in the field of gifted education. I also have a quick and easy way to keep track of which teachers have received their training.

Click here to find out how to purchase the 30-Hour Core by Dr. Juntune.

Did you know that GT Ignite offers District Licensing? Give us a call at (915) 532-9965 to find out more!

Delivering Quality Training – No Matter Where You Are

Mobile ready professional development for gifted teachersDid you know that this course is mobile ready? That means you can complete the course on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or any other mobile device!

Images courtesy of Flickr via Pink Sherbet Photography, woodleywonderwork, IHA Central Office, amenclinics_photos, orphanjones