Consultation Model - Maine Educators of the Gifted and Talented

The Pros and Cons of a
Consultation Model 101
Ann Cutten,
Sanford School Dept. Sanford, ME
New England Conference, 2013
What is a consultation model?
Resource consultation and collaboration, the
pooling of expertise among all school staff
in order to do more for students, is
emerging as a popular service delivery
strategy in gifted education programming.
- Mary Landrum Slade
Why Consult?
Changes in general education
Expeditionary or Project based learning
Standards or proficiency based
Student centered
Move at your own pace
Many changes in general education mirror
GT pedagogy from back in the 80s
New, more inclusive/extensive definitions
of giftedness
Budget cuts
The Cons of a Consultation Model
Not direct services, less contact with the
Staff needs to be much more educated to
the needs of the gifted
Takes a lot of time to transform the
community perceptions of GT
People don’t have a clear idea what you do
Hard to explain what you do
People keep asking when you are taking the
GT kids
Philosophical shift
Not pull out (kids aren’t gifted 45 minutes per
Education of all teachers
Joint “ownership” of students
Focus on student needs in and out of the
classroom, not just academic needs
Working “behind the scenes” instead of directly
with students
You have to believe in this philosophy
for it to work.
Think about how services for high-end
learners can be integrated into the
fabric of the larger system. Talking
about educating ALL students to their
full potential builds community
support rather than alienating the
Our Program Structure
Flexible identification
Focus on needs of students
Priority kids
High ability pool
Differentiation with support as primary
mode of service
Belief in and support for classroom
teachers (partnership)
Professional development
Meld academic, social and emotional
What is the role of the consultant?
Resource, and resource provider, for
teachers, administration etc.
Partner with classroom teachers
(not co-teacher)
“Guidance counselor”
“Expert” in gifted education and
“Pioneer” of new policy
Help coordinate learning options like service
learning, etc
Student Needs and Differentiation
Identify gifted students and their needs
What needs are not being met in the
Programming must be fluid and flexible
based on the needs of the current
Build programming around the needs of
priority students but offer the options to
other students when “available and
Build Bridges and Make
Respect/value/acknowledge the role of the
classroom teacher
Meet teachers, etc., where they are
Understand trends, programming, components of
regular ed
Volunteer* for a variety of committees such as RtI,
curriculum, professional development, etc
*some of these committees are part of our job description
Be aware of, and communicate, the “state of the
state” of gifted ed
Become a resource to the district – stay current in
the field of gifted ed and its direction/future
Request/be available for meetings
Administrative teams
Teacher teams or departments
School Board
PET meetings
Guidance and support staff
You MUST have Knowledge
Needs of gifted
Academic, Social and Emotional
Twice Exceptional, underachievement,
Especially pretesting, curriculum
compacting and grading accommodations
Acceleration (A Nation Deceived)
Classroom issues and grading policies
All curricula – regular ed and gifted ed
Professional Development
Book groups
Purple Paper Series/Smarties
Lunch meetings
“Topic Tuesdays”
Small and large meetings
Keep a flexible schedule. Need to be
available for meetings with kids, teachers
and administrators at their convenience.
Be visible and available. Attend
faculty/team/ grade level meetings from
time to time, especially if in more than one
Learn how to say “yes” without
compromising your beliefs/standards/time
Use your sense of humor
Forget your ego
Be Proactive
Know what’s going on with local, state and
national educational initiatives and trends
(not just G/T)
Understand that much of what is new in
regular ed is an outgrowth of the pedagogy
of gifted and talented education
Determine your position/role in standardsbased education; take on leadership roles
as available and appropriate
Stay current in the field, and educate those
around you to what is happening in gifted