Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to publish a post in one hour. Here is tonight's challenge:
"Write a letter to someone or some entity with whom you have had a disagreement"
Dear teachers of my son,
There are a lot of 'special kids' that you have to take in account in one classroom, I know. I have been there and done that. I have made mistakes while I was a teacher, just as every teacher has. I really do get how hard it is to give all the children what they need.
BUT - Can you please for once really listen to me? Can you please understand that I am not another mom who thinks that her son is very bright, because she wants him to? Sometimes I even think that it would have been a lot easier if my son would have been just a smart kid, but if I think that it feels like cheating on him. He can't help it that he is gifted. He didn't choose to be gifted and neither did we.
If you could just show me that you understand him, that you care for his well being too. That you aren't always busy with the children who have low grades and that need a lot of attention to maybe, someday get a better grade? I don't even care for grades, I care for processes and NOT for the result. I do get that these children deserve your attention too, of course they do. I used to give them a lot of attention too, when I was a teacher.
It would be great if you could just immerse yourself in what giftedness actually means for a boy in your classroom. How it must feel when you get up every day, knowing that you have to go to school, while feeling totally bored all day long. How long can you sit still, while someone is talking about a topic that you already knew everything about, three years ago? How long can you keep your mouth shut or stop fiddling and fumbling while you try to keep your mind set on the topic? Is it so hard to think outside the beaten path?
Is it so hard to take the materials that you have and think about how you can use that same material in a totally different way so even gifted children will have to use their intellect?
Is it annoying when a mom knows more about giftedness than you do? When she knows her child better than you do and she wants to help you, help him during the day? Is it hard to admit to yourself that you still have to learn a lot?
I would really love it when a teacher, that asks me to fill out a form about how my son is, would contact me after she read the form. That she would put her pride aside and would write me an email or even better, would call me to ask a lot of questions. I always used to tell my students that there was no such thing as a dumb question, that the person that didn't ask the questions was dumb. It would be strange if a teacher that is supposed to be an example to her students, would be scared to admit that she needed help with this 'subject'.
Do you know that a child can start underachieving within six weeks? Do you understand why I find it really important that my gifted child gets challenging questions and assignments while he feels understood by you? Even if you don't exactly know what you could do or change to help him better, could you please just say that to me? I really wouldn't mind, I would feel so relieved.
Every schoolyear I am thinking all of this, because sadly everything still seems to depend on the teacher that my son will get that year. This says a lot about the policy that public schools have when it comes to giftedness. I really understand that it is hard to change everything in a few years, but even the smallest change can make my son feel better. If only you could see how he acts when he gets home after school. How angry and sad he is, because he feels so different, so undervalued, so underestimated.
I will give you an example: if you give other kids letters to learn, could you please give my son a book, and if you could, could that please be a book that he hasn't read like three years ago? Or when all the kids have to color the same picture, could you please give him a blank sheet, where he can use his imagination? He can color what he has drawn afterwards, so you can see he can color very well. If you learn the class what the numbers 1 and 2 mean, could you please give him the multiplicative sums that he is really into right now? And could you please explain the goal of what he has to do? Could you please give him some time to answer questions too, even if the other children don't get at all what he is talking about? Could you please appreciate the human being that he is?
Thank you! Hopefully you will be the first teacher that will teach him that he is good the way he is!
While writing this I am really hoping that my youngest son will be as lucky as my oldest son is this school year. My oldest really has a great teacher and he feels understood by her. Tomorrow is Curriculum Night at my youngests school and I really hope that we will be pleasantly surprised by his teacher. I know, I have to give it a chance first, but after all those teachers that haven't given my oldest son what he needed, I am a bit cautious with my expectations. I also know that it really isn't American to admit that you don't know something. So, I still keep hoping for the best, I keep my fingers crossed that one day my youngest also will be understood by the teacher he has. And trust me, I know how hard that can be, because he is very difficult to fathom.
It would be great to work together on this!
If you would like to get all my new blogs the minute I post them, please LIKE my Facebookpage: https://www.facebook.com/dutchalien
Or you can type your email address in the box below and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.