Thursday, July 16, 2009

Working with Teachers

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Experience tells me that informing the kindergarten teacher on the first day of school that you think your child "is kinda smart" is not the best way to endear yourself to her. In fact, you may find out that by the time you attend November teacher conferences, the woman has not even sat down with your child to listen to him read.

Yes, I speak from experience. Interesting though during that teacher conference, a new administrator unexpectedly joined in the fun. And she offered up IQ and Achievement tests for my son via the school psychologist. So it all worked out. Well, not really. More like it launched a bumpy and frustrating journey. But such is life.

I've told teachers too much up front and I've told them too little about my boys. I don't have a knack for providing just the right information.

Anyway, if you're looking for ways to connect with your child's teacher check out Five Things Your Child's Teacher Needs from You. I will say that item #2 can be a bit of sticking point when it comes to gifted issues as many teachers lack a full understanding of the social-emotional needs of gifted children and the continuum of giftedness.

It's not their fault. Few teacher programs emphasize gifted children as a special needs population. And, at least in my state, there's no economic incentive to get gifted credentials, so why bother?

On a lighter note, get ready for National Parenting Gifted Children Week.

Every week (that I bother to write) is Parenting Gifted Children Week at Hormone-colored Days! Check out my other musing on gifted issues.


Meowmie said...

Gotta say, my teachers loved having a gifted child in their class. They just shoved stuff in front of me and expected me to do it. :-)

To this day, I have no idea whether or not my parents said anything when I was enrolled in primary school. Maybe they figured the teacher would work it out fast enough.

Shari said...

I have to admit I dread kindergarten this year. I know our girls will be bored, so I'm already planning to supplement their work. I don't want to go into the teacher and demand challenging work, but how long do I have to sit quietly while the rest of the class learns to do what our girls have already accomplished?

Bad Momma said...

In our school system, the gifted program does not start until 3rd grade. We had an issue with our youngest in 1st grade when he made the transition from Montessori School to Public School.

He kept complaining that school was too easy yet he was "flunking out" on his evaluations. It turns out the work was made to look like a coloring book and he missed the question at the bottom of the page. He was so bored he was off daydreaming.

After several meetings with the teacher & principal, mid-way through the school year he was pushed ahead a grade in math. He was so much happier and did really well.

The school is continuing to work with us, which might not have happened if we were not involved.

I agree that Gifted children have special needs and these programs are underfunded. My advice to parents is "Be involved." Don't quietly sit by while your children are bored.