Since I have narrowed my focus to working with gifted teachers, and counselors and librarians working with gifted students, I want to talk about why researching this particular group of special education professionals is necessary.
Not only is the rate of burnout higher with these particular teachers, but they also feel inadequate to handle the intense burden that goes along with being a mentor to gifted children. There is a larger amount of pressure put on them as well as a limited freedom to do as they wish with a diverse group of individuals. They usually work with a varied age-group, and the support that goes along with the role of special education teacher is nil when it comes to gifted. Unlike other specialized education roles, there is not a support system, as everyone seems to believe that gifted and talented children can make it on their own due to their advanced intellect.
This is where our workshop steps in. The points are as follows:
- Giving the professionals support in a network of colleagues with the same aims.
- Providing professional development to stave off burnout.
- Giving teachers bibliotherapy training to better deal with the emotional intensities that can go along with gifted kids, thus preventing burnout.
- Connecting the schools and the public library by using the public library as a resource and a safe place for learning.