Professional Learning

  • The state of North Carolina has adopted a law governing programming for academically and/or intellectually gifted students and has developed a set of standards and practices for districts to use as guidelines when developing their AIG Plans. One of the standards, Standard 4, highlights the importance of personal and professional development. It says:

    Standard 4:  Personnel and Professional Development

    The LEA recruits and retains highly qualified professionals and provides relevant and effective professional development concerning the needs of gifted learners that is on-going and comprehensive.

      • Practice C: Establishes specific and appropriate professional development requirements for all personnel involved in AIG programs and services, including classroom teachers, exceptional children's personnel, counselors, and school administrators.
      • Practice D: Provides general education services by personnel who have earned AIG add-on license or have met the LEA requirements for that position. 

    Since academically and/or intellectually gifted students spend the majority of their instructional time with regular education teachers, these teachers need to either be AIG licensed by the state of North Carolina or, at a minimum, meet the local requirement that is created by their school district. In order to address this practice, Guilford County Schools’ AG Department has created a 12-hour series of training courses for instructional staff. This training consists of two courses that are six hours each. Completion of the 2-course series will mean that teachers meet the district’s local requirement to instruct academically and/or intellectually gifted students. These courses do not lead to state licensure. The courses are:

      • Characteristics of Gifted Learners: Using the research from various experts within the field, participants will debunk myths about gifted learners, reflect on their own interactions with gifted students in their classrooms and learn how to instruct, assess and manage high ability learners. This is the first course in the GCS Academically Gifted professional development series for staff instructing academically and/or intellectually gifted students. Registrations is completed via the Performance Matters:  Professional Learning system.  Please access the Performance Matters Professional Learning System for upcoming sessions being offered.
      • Classroom Practices for High Ability Learners: Using research from various experts within the field, participants will gain more advanced strategies to use to differentiate for high ability learners, discuss assessment and management of differentiation in the classroom and create activities utilizing these more advanced structures. This is the second course in the GCS Academically Gifted professional development series for staff instructing academically and/or intellectually gifted students. Registrations is completed via the Performance Matters:  Professional Learning system. Please access the Performance Matters Professional Learning System for upcoming sessions being offered.

    The AG Department highly recommends that the two courses are completed in order. Our current AIG Plan mandates this training for ELA and Math teachers assigned to instruct academically and/or intellectually gifted students.  However, while students are not identified as academically and/or intellectually gifted until second grade, these students exhibit gifted tendencies from the first days of kindergarten and throughout all subject matter. As such, at the elementary level, K-2 teachers and teachers of other subject matter also need to be armed to provided differentiated instruction that meets the academic and intellect needs of identified students.  At the secondary level, both middle and high school teachers are highly qualified in content area but have no specific training to address the needs of high-ability students.

     

    Professional Learning Communities (PLC) for AG Teachers, TAG Chairs, AP Coordinators and IB Coordinators:

    It is equally important that AG Teachers are well-versed in the needs of academically and/or intellectually gifted students. To that end, the district’s AG teachers participate in a monthly PLC focusing on the social, emotional, and academic needs of these students.  Discussion are held to address compliance and the implementation of the elementary pull-out enrichment programs.  At the middle school level, TAG chairs participate in quarterly PLCs to ensure that their respective middle schools met the compliance expectations set forth in the board-approved AIG Plan.  At the high school, the district’s AP Coordinators and IB Coordinators meet regularly to discuss the district’s compliance with required College Board (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) procedures and processes.  This includes, but is not limited to ensuring that AP/IB teachers are trained in their respective AP/IB subjects.