A question for Agnes (and Meldy?)-but others can answer too

rob333August 14, 2012

I remember that you've dealt with gifted children of your own. Meldy, too? Honestly, this doesn't bother me, but it is bugging my sweet little fellar. He's really upset that they moved him from Honors Algebra to Advanced Algebra. Honors is two grades ahead, but Advanced is "only" one. He is like a dog with a bone over it. I've explained I'm behind administration and his test scores, that he can catch up to the Honors group by supplementing, or to keep finishing before everyone in class does so you can show them it's below your ability (which I'm not so sure it is, but he did make a 97 on an Honors test before they moved him) or... a myriad of ways.

He just called me from school, at lunch!, to say, may I please email Ms. W (last year's math teacher) and ask her why she didn't recommend me? How would you handle it? Truly. I want him to let go of this disappointment. I want him to understand it's a temporary setback (his goal was calculus next year instead of four years from now). I am usually pretty good at letting him suffer disappointment, but this time it's really not working. drat! I'm open to suggestions. I'm considering telling him that it's the email must be his last effort until after Christmas? I realize he is processing this, but it's really dragging on now. Heck, he was so sad last night he had pizza for dinner and bacon for dessert.


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You need to remind him over and over and over again that there will always be people that can do more than he can. Their IQ may not be as great or it may be greater, but they may be more able to process and remember data. Just being able to understand HOW is not enough.

Remind him that even a few weeks can change what he can and can't do. And he has to learn to live with it. He's growing up, but demanding that he gets what HE wants is just asking for trouble.

Learning how to handle disappointment is much more important than calculus.

Ask him if he wants to be known as a spoiled brat, or a responsible person that does his best, no matter where he is.

It could be something simple like there were too many in the classroom and everyone else does better than he does. It's possible that he isn't as bright as he thinks he is. He needs to accept that possibility. There is a limit, and he may have already reached his. He has to accept that possibility.

It might ease your mind if you had a private talk with the teacher. You could be in for a big surprise.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:22PM
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"demanding that he gets what HE wants is just asking for trouble."

This is my problem with it. I don't want him to get it right now, this way... by demanding it. I agree. Nah, no big surprises. He's way up there in the science world, but math, only higher than some. I've said what you're saying to him. It's good to know I'm not alone!!! I'll just have to be more insistent than he with this one. phooey

Would you let him send the email, in order to let the teacher tell him why she didn't recommend him? He needs to know that he's not up to snuff from someone other than this school, and me saying it isn't getting in. He is just being too demanding, isn't he? dunno know why this one is snagging me up. I know he can't be good at everything, and I am glad for that. Keeps him humble (usually).

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:39PM
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Nope...no e-mail, He has to be responsible enough to ask her face to face if he really feels he has to know. Remind him that it is HER decision about whether or not he could handle the class.

The fact that he isn't handling it well is a very good sign that he has some growing up to do before he can progress to a higher level.

He may think that a 97 is a good grade, but I will bet you that most of the class got 99.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:59PM
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I'm glad to hear you say it. I was planning on saying not at all, but waivered to maybe. I'll stick with my original gut. Thanks, I feel better! I'ver never seen him so, um, immature about something. I guess it is stemming from moving to a new school. At least, I'll chalk it up to temporary insanity.

I appreciate your comments. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:12PM
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I'll pipe up here because we two gifted children and I see this from a parent's view.
I'll just touch on LF wanting to know why he was not on the honor roll. Since he cares this much, it would be helpful to know that, so he can make adjustments next time. He does not have to keep guessing.

I totally agree with agnespuffin , no email. Make an appointment with the teacher and find out why. He can then use that information for future use.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:05PM
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I was all set to tell him no email until he told me why he wanted to contact her (and it does have to be email, because I can't leave during the day, nor can he to go back to his old school). He was right. The reason they didn't put him in Honors is, although his scores were ok, he didn't have a recommendation from last year's teacher. This is a teacher who lost papers constantly. Scattered type. Loveable and loves to teach, gets the kids excited. But scattered. I let him. I was gonna say what you're saying west, to find out what he lacked and fix it. But that's all he wanted to do anyhow. It was very different than the day before. He is processing it better than it looked yesterday morning. I still fully appreciate what you've said y'all. It's just good to have the thoughts of those who have gone before me.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:57AM
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