Friday, March 25, 2011

Going Up? A Gifted Education "Elevator Pitch"

 Do you have an elevator pitch for gifted education?

What if you suddenly have the (brief!) opportunity to speak with a key legislator, administrator, or perhaps skeptical educator or parent about gifted education (note: actual elevator not required).  What will you say?

A little preparation will help you think clearly, make the most of the moment, and forward the cause of gifted students.

GT education is important:
  • For the future: Confining students to educational environments they don't find challenging or supportive doesn't give them the tools necessary to become the innovators, the creators, the leaders, nor the involved members of the 21st century global community who they have the potential to become.
  • For educational best practices:  Teachers trained to work with gifted learners benefit all students. Many successful learning strategies now touted in regular classrooms due to their benefits in flexible grouping and academic rigor actually originated in gifted education. 
  • For meeting children's needs:  Every child deserves to have his or her academic and socio-emotional needs met.  Gifted learners from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly dependent on public schools to meet their educational needs, but these students are also especially likely to be unidentified and underserved.
Each of these points is a reason for advocacy and hours of discussion onto itself.  However, the idea is to summarize and present three key points as to the value of gifted education in the time span of an elevator ride (approximately thirty seconds to two minutes).

Be clear and brief. Speak with passion. Be prepared and flexible about answering questions--ask for the opportunity to have a more thorough discussion!

NAGC advocacy themes