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    #245467 - 05/11/19 12:31 PM Attitude Rant
    tigerhog Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/10/18
    Posts: 16
    I hope it's OK to post this.

    Recently in a casual setting I was discussing different strengths people have with my DD in the presence of a fellow student, who is also tested into the gifted program.

    When I started to point out the strengths of some of my DD's classmates, this fellow student started to comment by adding "but he is not very smart", or "yeah but she is not very bright". Some of these I actually disagree since I believe some of them simply have problem testing. I was bothered by the first of these comments. By the 3rd one I wanted to bang my head against a wall.

    Clumsily, I told this fellow student that some kids are very very intelligent but can fail the gifted test because they have issue specific to the test. The reply I got was "so they aren't very smart if they can't do the test right".

    It's issue of security, is it not? Reaction to a threat to a self-perceived status? I remembered a period of time when DD's test scores started to go up (she was not much of an A student), this fellow student started to demand to know DD's score ("what did you get?"). Not sharing, mind you. DD never knew how this student do in tests.

    I don't know what that is and I surely need to find words to describe it. It is disturbing for me to hear this from an 11-year-old. I don't want my child to consider other people as less, or in other way, she is *simply* better, or constantly on the lookout to compete with other children.

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    #245469 - 05/11/19 03:33 PM Re: Attitude Rant [Re: tigerhog]
    Portia Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/17/13
    Posts: 1760
    The goal of healthy competition is to meet others who are of the same interest and level as you, to challenge yourself to something you would not have the opportunity to do otherwise, and to have fun along the way. It is fun to win, but what does that mean long term? Short term, one feels great, but the win is empty long term if the goal is just the win. If you have healthy competition, then long term, you have growth, self-esteem, fun, and maybe some new friends. Unhealthy competition leads to anxiety, low self-esteem, and a lot of Joneses behavior.

    Stepping off the soapbox now.

    It sounds like the classmate does not have a good model for healthy competition. Make sure your DD does and learns how to deal with unhealthy people in a healthy way for her.

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    #245473 - 05/11/19 03:54 PM Re: Attitude Rant [Re: tigerhog]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3448
    One of the great gifts of being part of a GT sibling group with one markedly more PG member was that I learned very early on that I had intellectual strengths--but that there were others with more. And that that did not remotely affect the value of any one of us. Gifts are so named because they're not merit-based. I earned neither my natural gifts nor my natural weaknesses, so I have no basis for either self-centered pride or self-demeaning shame regarding them. I do, however, have responsibilities to use my gifts wisely, for the benefit of not only myself, but others, as well as to seek assistance from those more gifted in my areas of weakness.

    And to reiterate, the value of individuals is in their humanity, not in the specific skills they do or do not possess.

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    #245474 - 05/11/19 05:10 PM Re: Attitude Rant [Re: tigerhog]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4138
    You were looking for strengths and positive attributes... and finding them.
    The child was looking for perceived shortcomings... and blurting them without a filter.
    Pointing out that you are looking for strengths, and inviting the child to share strengths s/he has noticed, may prove helpful in changing his/her focus.

    I nearly ended the post with that thought.
    However in over-thinking and making more connections, there may be something of interest to others...


    The child pointing out perceived shortcomings could be rooted in immaturity and/or an unhealthy sense of competition and/or a fixed mindset. Or it could be mean-spirited, similar to labeling a child as a "try-hard."

    Unfortunately, the child's propensity to offset positives with negatives might be role-modeled after attitudes exhibited by school teachers, as US public schools are working toward achieving equal outcomes. One strategy toward this goal is capping the growth of children at the top, and one way in which this may be accomplished is in seeking/finding/emphasizing weaknesses to offset strengths in gifted pupils. Hearing that a child is smart but does not possess good study skills may inspire a similar but inverse response when hearing that a child uses good study skills: commenting that the child is not smart.

    Whatever the reason for the child's statements, s/he may find that his/her observations do not hold true for long. In lower grades, being gifted or smart is more based on measures of IQ or native intelligence, but as children age the emphasis is more based on achievement/accomplishment. There are in-school programs such as AVID which coach children toward achievement/accomplishment, as a means to close achievement gaps and excellence gaps. The same children s/he currently regards as not smart, may be among the top of the class in later grades.

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    #245481 - 05/12/19 10:54 AM Re: Attitude Rant [Re: tigerhog]
    tigerhog Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/10/18
    Posts: 16
    Thanks for all the insight!

    Portia: Thanks for the soap box moment! Love the way you sum it up. My child is not competitive at all. Right now she associates some unsportsmanlike behaviors she observed from other children as part of competition. It’s a knot I am trying to untie.

    aeh: I completely agree with you! Sadly I think the world doesn’t have enough understanding about giftedness, even within the gifted population. My child’s school doesn’t have many gifted students. By the number of parents approached me for testing advice after they found out my average-looking child is already on the list (kids were tested again this year), it seems to me giftedness to them is an achievement (and status). The attitude by this fellow student of my child can only re-enforce the misperception of the giftedness “status” and making it difficult to advocate for the children’s need.

    Indigo: Thanks for the advice about inviting the student to the discussion. I was appalled by what I heard and was too busy trying to disagree with him/her. I need to try harder to be the adult next time!
    And by the way, the teachers at my child’s school are great and ever so encouraging. I trusted that they are not the source of any negative view a child projects on others.
    Finally, the point regarding achievement gap: I think the achievement gap will narrow (in my child’s class anyway) partly because I believe that some of the children are genuinely gifted but have issue with testing. And other high achievers can also advance through the use of their initiatives. This fellow student may not be receiving the proper support but I am afraid the family is not seeking in the right direction either.

    Thanks for listening! I feel better getting it out of my chest. Hopefully I can do better at advocating. I had never imagined having a 2E child, nor with the loneliness that accompanied it.

    Thank you all!!!

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    #245496 - 05/14/19 07:27 AM Re: Attitude Rant [Re: tigerhog]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1463
    I think the word is the problem. Gifted. You get a gift, they do not. Why not be more specific? Test kids and they are math oriented and need math challenge. Or others who are veral oriented and need more depth in studies to be challenged. With all the online programs, there should be so many ways to customize and let kids focus on their strengths, whatever they are. In Ontario there is conservative government that is keen to cut costs wherever to deal with debt. But in the midst of their cutting of muscle, they actually get some stuff right. They are demanding kids take online classes. This is a way to cut staff, but on the other hand, it allows kids to go at their own pace. In fact, as they allow more of this, and kids are still involved in a regular high school for extracurriculars, gym, field trips, this sounds like a good idea to me. This is what it should be. Being part of a school for all the emotional and social development and clubs and the ability to do courses at your own pace. And science labs have a physical space.

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    #245999 - 09/03/19 05:44 PM Re: Attitude Rant [Re: Wren]
    tigerhog Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/10/18
    Posts: 16
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    They are demanding kids take online classes. This is a way to cut staff, but on the other hand, it allows kids to go at their own pace.


    Online group class is good, right? Learn at your pace but also have the opportunity to collaborate with others that are at similar level. Also, wouldn’t some kids learn better when they “teach” other kids, re-enforcing the concept in the process?

    Virtual classroom sounds great. I don’t understand why it is not implemented more often.

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    #246000 - 09/03/19 07:56 PM Re: Attitude Rant [Re: tigerhog]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2012
    If the schools use online classes to save money then the teacher is not really teaching. Then why pay a teacher- use a babysitter instead. Then you get the original ACE school set up of an unqualified supervisor supervising kids going through work by themselves. If the kids get stuck all they can do is give their best guess or suggest emailing the online teacher. The babysitter can't do enriching group activities etc so why bother having the kids at school? The kids can sit in front of a computer at home just as well. Parents who have to work can pay for them to sit in a cubicle in a barn in front of a computer. Do you see this working better than what there is now?

    Anything encouraged as a cost cutting exercise should be treated with caution. I have not come across one school cost cutting imitative which benefitted the students.


    Edited by puffin (09/03/19 07:57 PM)

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    #246002 - 09/03/19 10:17 PM Re: Attitude Rant [Re: puffin]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4138
    Well said, puffin. Having children complete online lessons at home through a "virtual public school" also subjects the home learning environment to supervision by the government school system. For example, turning on device camera and/or turning on device microphone. The parents can also become subject to scrutiny.

    In this manner and by these measures, the government is unwittingly welcomed into the privacy of the family home for monitoring and data collection purposes. Rather than parents being the authority figures in the family home, the government usurps that role.

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