As leaders and decision makers in our schools, it is often the administrator whose beliefs, decisions, vision, and guidance help determine the status of services and opportunities for the gifted and advanced learners in their schools. Yet their training to be administrators, just like that for teachers, is often lacking in any real discussion, information, and application of the needs of these students.
If you are an administrator who is looking for quality, research-based, quick-access resources about gifted learners, a collection of just that is now available. If you are a parent, teacher, or gifted specialist who wants to provide an administrator you know with such resources, this will be a great place to begin your search.
A few years ago, the National Association for Gifted Children established an Adminstrator Task Force whose purpose was to create - by administrators, for administrators - a toolbox of easy-access, administrator-oriented resources about gifted students and gifted education. (You might recall I attended a session at the national conference back in November featuring a preview of the toolbox.) After many months of collaboration, the Administrator Toolbox is ready.
The Toolbox is organized into four sections: Rationale for Gifted Education, Critical Elements of Gifted Education, Accountability for Student Learning, and Connecting Gifted Education to Other School Practices (e.g. RTI). Each section includes 5 to 7-minute videos, fact sheets, printer-friendly PDFs, and research-based information presented in an administrator's "language."
Here is one great example of a video with an administrator audience in mind:
And at this link you can access an excellent example of a one-page fact sheet (in this case, about accountability).
In addition to the helpful resources in the Administrator Toolbox, you can find a wealth of additional items on the Administrator Homepage, such as "10 Things All Administrators Should Know About Gifted Children," a glossary of Gifted Education terms, and The Truth About Common Gifted Education Myths.
Administrators are really busy people. (Did I emphasize that enough? Make that REALLY busy, overwhelmed, and responsible for more than the rest of realize...!) Breaking through it all to reach them with succinct, quality insights and information about gifted learners is a tall challenge. Doing so in their own "language" is even more so (because for the rest of us, our point of view is from a different angle). That's part of what I think is so remarkable about the items in the Administrator Toolbox. Because they were created by administrators with an administrator audience in mind, they are specifically designed to reach a busy principal or superintendent with the information most relevant for them.
Together with other strategies, these quick-access tools can help administrators gain further understanding of and resources for the most advanced learners in their schools. Find a piece to share today!