Be sure you have your Regional Education Service Center’s Advanced Academic Specialist contact information
handy. These specialists are ready to answer all of your questions. There is no such thing as a silly question when you are new and you will have many of them!
- If you have not taken Nature and Needs of the Gifted recently, retake the session. Be sure you attend a session that will address the laws and guidelines for gifted programs in Texas. Region 4 offers this course here at the Region Center which is the best way for a new coordinator to receive this information. Being in a class gives you the opportunity to ask questions.
- Find out the dates for the Advanced Academic Leadership Network meetings. A G/T Coordinator or Director from every district is appointed by their Superintendent to attend. Find out if you are that person. If you are, put these meetings on your calendar. At these meetings you will find out what is going on in your region, in the state, and around the nation in the field of gifted. At these meetings you will learn about the many learning opportunities there are for you at conventions, meetings and with professional development. You are now the district’s expert in this field. To be an expert you must collaborate with other experts. This is a great place to collect phone numbers/emails of other G/T Coordinators.
- Begin to look at your district’s G/T program. Find out how each of your campuses are providing services. For example: Pull out Program, Special Schools within a School, Cluster Groups of G/T Students in Regular Classrooms, Self-contained classrooms, etc
- On each of those campuses find out who is delivering those services. Be sure that there is documentation to support that each of the assigned G/T teachers has the required G/T training. View Region 4's professional development offerings.
- Talk to the administrators on each campus and find out if administrators and counselors have had the required G/T training in Nature and Needs and Program options.
- Look at your list of identified gifted students at each campus. Confirm that they are in class with a G/T trained teacher.
- Look at your District’s identification/assessment matrix. Find out how your student’s are identified. Look at your district’s demographics, does your gifted program reflect your district’s demographics?
- Ask each campus principal to recommend a classroom you could visit to observe challenging curriculum. After visiting several classrooms review your district’s G/T Curriculum Framework. Did you see evidence of that framework on your visits?
- Review the District’s G/T Handbook for Parents/Teachers/Students. Does it reflect what is happening in your district?