gifted

a friend of mine posed a question to the ed reporter in the washington post today: tell us about the gifted and talented programs in the area? i don’t know about them other than the fact that for some reason, they teach accelerated math to all of the kids in BC’s elementary school. and i’ll be interested in the answer, though how that will impact our collective lives here is another question. i’m what you call a skeptic đŸ˜‰

as the parent of an 8 year old and a 4 year old, i am seriously amused at the number of people around here who think their kids are gifted. i guess we all live in a super-special lake wobegon, where everyone is not only above average but in the top second percentile. i am often amused at how agitated parents get over whether the school is providing enough intellectual stimulation for their child/ren.

i once blogged on this topic awhile back because i was just so annoyed by the never-ending onslaught of parents obsessed with the state of their particular child’s “giftedness” (for lack of a better term).

honestly, for every child i’ve met who was designated as “gifted,” i think i’ve met only two or three who truly were. and the one thing i truly fear are parents and programs who believe that if a child is gifted in one area, then the child must be accelerated in all areas. this happened to me; and while i was arguably gifted in some areas, i was just your regular sort of student in math. put in a class with folks who truly should have had accelerated experiences in math, i ended up a fearful math flunky who didn’t recover until graduate school, years later, when a professor helped me rebuild my confidence in my abilities.

i remember when a certain psychology was in vogue — past life regressions — where people would be in some sort of hypnotized state and then come out believing that their ancestor was Cleopatra, or George Washington, or someone famous. no one seemed to come out of it with ancestors who were just regular people building the pyramids or fighting in the Revolutionary War. thus it is, i think, with children around here and gifted programs. somehow, every child who is bright is suddenly dubbed gifted.

and, if you pardon my grammatical error, it just ain’t so.

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2 Responses to “gifted”

  1. GT woes…ah yes.

    I remember way back when when our Elder BCs were at the renowned child care establishment where you and I met way back in ’99 (holy crap – our kids are EIGHT – when did that happen?) Recall I told you how my heart broke when I came upon two of my least favorite moms discussing portfolios. I thought maybe they were artists on the side. But no…they were discussing the portfolios of their 4 year olds, and whether they were enough all that to get them into the private schools they were lusting after…or whether maybe they should attempt a French immersion program for the summer to beef up the kid’s RESUME.

    PORTFOLIOS?!?! RESUMES?!?! They were talking about babies, FFS!

    Ugh – turns my stomach still. Welcome to our very own Nanny Diaries.

  2. […] be happy about this: one less task (check.) truly, i do have the mathematical ability of a raccoon. my scholastic math experiences didn’t help matters. but over the years, i have built up my confidence, at least to the point that i think i’ve […]

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