Search form

Professional Development For Teachers: Summer Institute For Gifted Children

Children are our future and we should take care of them. This is a universal truth that all adults know and appreciate. However, when it comes to the young ones, we need to give them more than love and food. They require proper education to grow up healthy both physically and mentally. This especially concerns gifted children who require more attention.

Usually, the days of gifted youth are filled with questions and answers due to their constant curiosity and creativity. It’s quite easy to see that a child requires something extra due to their above-average aptitude in one field or another. Their talent may be inclined towards academics, arts, sports, and so on. One may say that a child extra interested in something is gifted. However, officially, there are six recognized fields of “giftedness” that include creative thinking, leadership abilities, general intellectual, psychomotor, and specific academic abilities, as well as incredible performance in arts.

We are all used to think that when a kid is already gifted, they need no extra help from the outside and can manage on their own just fine. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in our world. Hard work is what makes the skills perfect. And when a person has a natural aptitude towards something, they need to hone the skills anyway.

That’s where a summer institute for the gifted comes into play. There are numerous similar places around the world that are ready to support the talent of each child using an individual approach. Most of them are divided by the field of “giftedness” to create the most efficient atmosphere and concentrate on one field.

Some of such places are ready to offer the professional development courses as well to prepare teachers for the hard task. Working with gifted children is a bit different than regular mentoring. It requires much more skills.

What Are Summer Institutes?

During summer, the education of children is on hold and even the regular kids get bored sometimes, not to mention the gifted ones whose mind constantly seeks development and new challenges. That’s why summer institutes exist. During their classes, the gifted review their skills and knowledge before progressing even further. Teachers at these establishments have a single task of creating an individual program for each pupil and working with them accordingly. Such approach makes academic and social aspects of the days at an institute easier for children.

In most cases, kids of all ages are welcomed to join one of the programs. On average, establishments work with kids of 5-17 years old. The age difference allows children to explore new friendships and learn how to interact with various personalities. Studies conducted in a friendly environment with peers who love studying just as much are always more productive.

The opportunities for gifted children have never been better than now. Summer programs are varied and can suit any taste. While the final decision rests upon the shoulders of parents, children should also have a say on the matter. After all, that’s their summer holidays. Let them choose the direction of studies and desired program.

There are many great places that offer top-notch services and an individual approach to your kid’s lessons. When searching for a perfect place, take notice of teachers working there. The stuff should be qualified to work with special kids. Best of all, share a few words with them and administration to find out their policies and approaches. Learn the teacher’s qualifications. All parents are free to inquire about them at the school office or ask teachers.

AP Summer Institute, for example, offers professional development for teachers. During this summer program, the educators acquire all necessary skills to work with gifted children. Not all teachers can deal with the needs gifted children have and can keep up with them. It’s crucial to know that the personnel of a summer institute is highly professional. That’s even more important than the proximity of an establishment or its prices.

There are many other places for a teacher to gain necessary knowledge. Harvard summer courses are also considered to be the epitome of great professional education. The course options include both online and offline programs but both types guarantee top professionalism from educators. So, any teacher with such an addition to their resumes is a treasure to stick to.

Quite a few programs on professional development are offered by UC Berkeley. By tradition, the courses are also conducted in summer as all types of additional education. The UC Berkeley portal gives a full list of development programs that includes more options than teaching.

When parents know the stuff is qualified to take care of their kids and bring something new to their lives, they can rely on the school stuff to push their kids towards discovering more of their gifts and praising them for positive results. In general, knowing that your kid is in good hands eliminates the constant worry parents may have.

Camps and Programs for Gifted

When looking for summer programs, pay attention to the places focused on the gifted solely. They’ll have more professional teachers and know how to organize their work in general. Grouping with children of similar abilities has to be a positive experience supervised by professionals who can find a personal approach to every kid while maintaining group work as well.

Unfortunately, not all states provide advanced maths, humanities or arts and parents have to go searching for the private programs. Good news is that these very programs have the most expertise in working with gifted children. Among such establishments, the leading positions are occupied by Oak Crest Academy that is designed to address specifically the needs of gifted kids, Summer Institute for the Gifted that serves as a summer camp, and John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth with its multiple summer programs as well. There are many other programs that are worth attention, but these three are the most popular choices in the country. A thing that unites all institutions of this kind is the focus on making the social life of gifted children just the regular life most kids experience. Understanding that not every child’s need can be covered by advanced academics is the key to raising a healthy and happy kid.

Summer camps for gifted have the most popularity among parents. This is a sure way to send a child for a couple of weeks into the world where their skills and talents are truly appreciated by peers and teachers.  It’s fun for kids and rest for parents. Children are also happy to make new friends at the camps and spend summer in a different way.

Positive Experience

The key to making the experience work is to find a place appealing to a child. Make sure they are excited and choose to go on their own. Don’t stop the learning during summer months, don’t stop the fun.

Summer camps for gifted require special consideration both from parents and the administration. Often, it’s hard to deal with the issues regular schools and camps don’t pay attention to. Professional development for teachers is a must for working in such an establishment. Parents should also learn to support kids and their inspirations at home. Reading special materials on working with the gifted can solve many questions the family has and bring them closer to the kids. Enjoying social and cultural activities in the meantime is a pleasant bonus that most campuses provide, even for the young kids of daytime programs. Including them in activities outside of classes bring positive experience that can be used later in their regular school.

Normal Childhood

All in all, it’s hard to make a gifted kid feel appreciated in the current schooling system that is directed towards standardization.  Such kids need special attention to hone their skills and encourage them to become even better. Instead, they have to fade into the woodwork and bury their talents.

Make sure that the kids with extra competence in one field get to develop that skill in a friendly atmosphere. While home-schooling is a popular choice for most families, it leaves kids with no social interactions with their peers and even the outside world. Give them an opportunity to experience normal life of a school student. There’re numerous programs and establishments ready to aid parents in their hard task.

Numerous institutions for the gifted are open daily and accept kids for the regular studies. This is the best alternative to the public schools. For those who cannot bring kids to a private school for the gifted, there’re numerous summer programs. Providing gifted children with extra activities is a task of any parent who wants the kids to be happy. Asking for the help of professionally trained teachers is a common practice that should be encouraged even more. The stuff at schools for the gifted has more skills and knowledge of how to bring out the best accomplishments of any gifted kid.

Written by Kaitlyn Lee