In most classrooms, the range of cognitive abilities is vast. Inclusion and legislative mandates challenge general educators to design and implement teaching and behavior management strategies that will ensure success for all student groups—including the gifted and highly able. Research indicates, however, that a majority of teachers have little specific knowledge about this group of children. By watching for certain behaviors and characteristics, teachers in the general education classroom can identify and better understand exceptional students.
Because of the unique characteristics gifted students possess, teachers need to be aware of the ways in which these attributes manifest themselves in observable classroom behaviors. Some behaviors can be troubling to the classroom teacher; however, being aware of their root causes will help teachers more fully meet gifted students’ needs and build positive relationships vital to meaningful classroom experiences.