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How Do You Provide Support for Students with Exceptional Ability?

How Do Your Provide Support for Students with Exceptional Ability?

Many teacher interview questions revolve around teaching techniques to help students achieve academic success. It’s important that as a teacher you are able to effectively answer these types of interview questions.

Here is one such question to help you be prepared for your next job interview:

“How do you provide support for students with an exceptional ability”?

How do you provide support for students with “exceptional ability”?

Most classrooms are inclusive. Inclusion means that all students, regardless of academic and developmental levels, will be given the chance and support needed to reach their full potential. Each child is unique, and as such, programs must be put in place to facilitate the goals and needs of students who are considered special needs, perform on grade level, and are deemed exceptional.

What is “inclusion”?

Inclusion can be looked at in different ways. Some teachers view it as establishing heterogeneous classrooms, where children of all developmental levels are placed in the same room and receive differentiated instruction. Others feel homogeneous grouping is a better way to help students of all levels succeed.

This means grouping students according to developmental level and placing them in separate classrooms, ensuring that they receive the individualized and/or specialized instruction they need to succeed. Though the latter method may seem more exclusive than inclusive, it works to ensure that no child is left behind and all students can be included in the learning process.

To ensure that all students receive a quality education, teachers and administrators can request the help of a Teacher Aide, who is able to provide one-on-one support for struggling students or introduce challenging activities for those who are exceptional.

Regardless of the type of classroom or grouping that is utilized, all students must be given the opportunity to communicate and socialize with one another, thus helping them to become well-rounded, tolerant, caring, compassionate, and respectful individuals who will be able to thrive in the real world.

Adapting lessons

Teachers must adapt their lessons and teaching techniques to accommodate multiple levels of intelligence and facilitate all styles of learners. This ensures that each child is able to actively participate in the classroom and comprehend and retain the material in whichever manner suits them best.

Always provide exceptional students with increasingly challenging activities and assignments. For instance, if they have finished their class work ahead of the other students, provide them with assignments that are suited for higher grade levels.

Also, to make certain that the classroom remains inclusive and heterogeneous, introduce group activities that encompass a wide range of students per group, and delegate the most exceptional student as the group leader; thus increasing their leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

In addition, a teacher may organize extracurricular activities that are designed to encourage and strengthen exceptional students’ unique gifts: assign certain administrative tasks, establish pull-out programs utilized once a day or on a weekly basis, initiate an advanced placement program, or adopt the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

Incorporating structured lessons to minimize student boredom. At the same time, introduce engaging activities that students enjoy. 

Who decides the level of inclusion?

All parties in the school community, including students, teachers, administrators, other staff, and parents must work toward achieving inclusion. The school principal is the key player in the inclusion reform, demonstrating and leading the way to a highly inclusive and supportive learning environment. They must also promote diversity, integration, acceptance, and support of anyone in need, regardless of capability or disability.

If you feel your exceptionally-performing students need additional attention your school doesn’t provide, you can use individualized techniques described above such as higher level assignments.