Some say professional development, some say professional learning…I just know that many of the teachers who work with gifted students are lifelong learners, looking for new opportunities whenever and wherever they can find them. I know that these teachers continue to learn from their students—sometimes learning that an old strategy isn’t working as well as it used to, and wondering what new tools they can add to their professional toolkits.
The Belin-Blank Center is providing multiple options this fall; most can be found at belinblank.org/educators, following the link to Schedule. As always, the semester includes three-semester-hour classes such as the Introduction to Educating Gifted Students and Psychology of Giftedness. An eight-week version of the Introduction to Educating Gifted Students is scheduled from October 16 – December 15, if you prefer an accelerated pace.
Workshops, which typically last for three weeks, begin on September 5 with Topics in Teaching and Learning: Perfectionism and High-Ability Learners. A second topics class, Writing for High-Ability Learners, is scheduled from October 23 – November 10.
The Iowa Talented and Gifted Association Conference is a logical place to offer academic credit, and the Center usually offers TWO different opportunities. For experienced teachers who can benefit from the credit option, Leadership in Gifted Education: ITAG 2017 begins on October 23 (you can even register by filling in a paper form at the conference) and concludes on November 10. Participants can choose between either one or two credit hours. For the first time, we also plan to offer one Iowa Licensure Renewal Unit for participation in the conference. For teachers NEW to gifted education, we offer a two-semester-hour option that we call TAG: You’re It; building on what you learn at the conference, the class will provide content that can most help with the first year or two in gifted education.
As well, this year we’ll have a special opportunity for a THIRD credit option associated with the conference: Dr. Susan Assouline will be offering a pre-conference workshop about academic acceleration, including better understanding of the Iowa Acceleration Scale, and how it can help you determine whether a student is a good candidate for whole-grade acceleration (grade-skipping). The Center will offer a one-semester-hour class that will build on the pre-conference session with choices of readings and emphasizing what individuals most need from the academic credit. One Iowa Licensure Renewal Unit will be available, as well.
Finally, if you attend the National Association for Gifted Children Conference this year in Charlotte, North Carolina (November 9 – 12), the Belin-Blank Center is offering Leadership in Gifted Education: NAGC 2017 for either one or two semester hours of credit; this workshop is offered from November 16 – December 8.
Please check back often to see what professional learning opportunities are available; if you have a topic that you would like to see offered, please contact Dr. Laurie Croft at either firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-335-6148. And for some of the best informal professional learning in the field today, please join our gifted-teachers listserv. To subscribe to the list, send an email to LISTSERV@LIST.UIOWA.EDU and, in the text of your message (not the subject line), write: SUBSCRIBE GIFTED-TEACHERS First-Name Last-Name.