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    #181796 02/10/14 07:48 AM
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    Irena Offline OP
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    I received the "gifted report" from my son's school on Friday. Apparently, as a formality, the school has to do a "gifted report" to document DS qualifying for the gifted program; and, also I suppose as a formality, the teacher still does, as a part of that report, a gifted rating scale of DS even though he fully qualified with his test scores alone and the rating scale was redundant/unnecessary. I did not see the actual ratings the teacher gave DS, (although I assume if i want I can request them?) but only the "t-scores" and none of the categories came up as significant for "gifted" based on the teachers responses. It doens't matter really because he is in the program regardless. But, really, it makes me sad considering that on her BASC-2 rating scales she gave pretty extremely negative ratings across the board - probably resulting in his coming up as very significant on a number of disorders. And many of her reponses were based on "assumptions" and not actual observations. So she is more than willing to "see" negative . But on the gifted rating scale looks like she sees him as barely average. This kid is the highest reader in her class. On every test, they give him he comes up as the highest. He passed the 4th grade reading comprehension section of the school's Qualitative Reading Inventory and passed the fifth grade (with 80%) word list. He is in the 92nd percentile for math and always attemtps the extra-challenge problems at the end of the math tests and has received As on those sections. And she can't find it in herself to "see" any significant gifted qualities in this kid? Seriously?

    I am so tempted to point this out at the next meeting. I'd be more understanding if DS's achievement was not bearing out but that isn't the case.

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    I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. DD had a teacher in 3rd grade who also was very focused on the negative and seemed to ignore the positive. We tried and tried to help DD get along better in that classroom but basically nothing we tried worked (although we were treading relatively lightly in hopes that 1) that would be enough and 2) the school would let her continue there the following year, with a different and presumably better teacher). So since nothing we did worked (except going to a different school), I guess my advice isn't to be taken too seriously, but I would definitely try to think about how to handle the next meeting and whether it might be helpful to point this stuff out in an indirect way--like, "I'm confused about the ratings because my impression was that DS is doing well in math and spelling." At least you might get some kind of explanation of why she is being so negative, and might be able to figure out something to help DS get along with her better. Although I think this is very difficult to do in a polite and cheerful manner when you think the teacher is being unreasonable. At any rate, it does sound like he is getting work that is challenging to him, which is good--are there any significant consequences to the ratings (such as affecting your DS's ability to remain in the gifted program)? If not, and they're just to let the parents know what the teacher thinks, I might try to not worry about it too much. Good luck, and remember it's February--only about four and a half months until Summer!

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    It is challenging to have your child in that situation. I do not understand why teachers fail miserably at recognizing giftedness. We are in a similar situation where we did private full psychoeducational testing and found our son to be PG with a GAI of 158 with extended norms. We even shared the results with her and still received blowback about how he isn't that gifted -- because he has friends! She gives a multitude of reasons of why he isn't gifted, mostly because he doesn't know the answers already for things that haven't been taught yet! She has done very little out of level testing, so I can't even be sure what level of reading or math my son is at. It has become problematic because I have no support for acceleration. She's apparently taught some "truly" gifted kids over the years. My son doesn't fit what she perceives as gifted and yet the likelihood she's taught a kid like him before is very, very slim.

    I think the most significant issues with having a teacher like that is that they can destroy a kid's self esteem. It is tough when a child's abilities aren't recognized. It is certainly worth discussing with her why there was such a discrepancy between her scores and the test scores. Sometimes, like in our case, her ideas on giftedness may just be unrealistic. I just don't think some people can be convinced or just they don't want to be wrong. It will be very interesting to show your findings and ask her what her reasoning was for her observations when they don't reflect reality. Sometimes it's really oddball things like executive functioning skills that are held with high regard.


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    Irena Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by Dbat
    I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. DD had a teacher in 3rd grade who also was very focused on the negative and seemed to ignore the positive. We tried and tried to help DD get along better in that classroom but basically nothing we tried worked (although we were treading relatively lightly in hopes that 1) that would be enough and 2) the school would let her continue there the following year, with a different and presumably better teacher). So since nothing we did worked (except going to a different school), I guess my advice isn't to be taken too seriously, but I would definitely try to think about how to handle the next meeting and whether it might be helpful to point this stuff out in an indirect way--like, "I'm confused about the ratings because my impression was that DS is doing well in math and spelling." At least you might get some kind of explanation of why she is being so negative, and might be able to figure out something to help DS get along with her better. Although I think this is very difficult to do in a polite and cheerful manner when you think the teacher is being unreasonable.

    Thanks DBat. The good side is that, according to DS, teacher is nice to him. And that is the most important thing to me. He has no idea how she apparently really feels - thank God b/c he's very sensitive and perceptive. So, I guess it's not really a problem, it just saddnes me, that's all. And just makes me wonder how she can't see any giftedness in the kid who is performing at the highest level in her class (but she apparently can see plenty on the behavioral disorder scale). He is the only kid at his readng level in the class and has been the only one all year. He is also one of the only ones as high as he is in math problem solving. He consisitently seeks challenge.

    Originally Posted by Dbat
    are there any significant consequences to the ratings (such as affecting your DS's ability to remain in the gifted program)?

    You know, this is a good question .. and, while I think it does not (as long as DS has the scores, which he does with both IQ and achievement - both alone and together qualify him), this may be a way to tactful way to point out what the teacher appears to be missing.

    Last edited by Irena; 02/10/14 08:37 AM.
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    Oh Irena... I can hear your anguish. I would have hoped that the teacher could have allowed herself to see your DS's strengths but I guess I'm not really surprised that she didn't based on what you have reported here. In my experience these situations require presenting tangible evidence of your position. Something that shows you are not just looking for fault or validation. Something that even the most strident, oppositional player can't deny. Know what I mean?

    "When they believe it they will see it." That became my mantra for a while.

    In our case it was a "nice" but not very bright teacher who just could not understand DD's situation. I mean she really couldn't - it was way too complex for her to understand. According to DD she had the kids doing "worksheets, worksheets, worksheets - and when we're done with those it's more worksheets." She did not/could not/would not modify, accommodate or differentiate. Anything. The district provided a part time para to scribe for DD but when she was not in the room the teacher just expected DD to do it all herself. It was as if she thought if the para left the room so did DD's disabilities.

    DH and I called a meeting with the SW and spec ed teacher. They started off telling us what a good match they thought this teacher was. She had a "pleasant demeanor" and "never raised her voice." I talked about the need for substance beneath the demeanor and got nowhere. However when I pulled out a series of papers DD completed when the para was in the room and a series of papers she completed when the para was out I got dumbfounded stares. I asked them to point to one example on any of the pages where the teacher had modified the assignment or accommodated DD's needs. "I'll take care of it" was the response from the spec ed teacher. I made clear that it wasn't my intent to embarrass someone in front of their colleagues but this could not continue. If I had to bring it up in front of the whole team at an IEP meeting I would but I sincerely hoped we could avoid that.

    Spec ed teacher tried modifying everything herself after this and then she and SW recommended a full time para. It was a terrible solution that never worked but at least the issue saw the light of day.

    So I would seek out your biggest supporter. Whoever "believes" it the most and approach them with your clear as day evidence. If they don't "take care of it" then be prepared to pull it out at your next team meeting.

    It's terrible that she "sees" the bad because she believes it's there. Ugh... {{hug}}


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    Irena Offline OP
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    Thanks Pemberely. I know our little ones seem to have a lot in common. They are complicated. I guess I thought the teacher would "see" the gifts more with his test scores this year... On the up side, he does seem to be getting his accommodations consistently. which helps tremendously. I guess I can't have 'everything.' smile I just wish he'd get a teacher who 'gets' him more - you know? It's either they see the strengths masking the deficiencies and so do not see the LD; or, they see negative and a 'misfit' and not his gifts. It just gets frustrating.

    Last edited by Irena; 02/10/14 10:01 AM.
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    Ugh, that's so depressing. We've been very lucky that, despite all of DS10's issues (behavioral, emotional, etc) I've never had a teacher even question his intelligence... they nearly always comment that he's one of the brightest kids they've ever taught... then we get that awful BUUUUUUT, he's doing blah blah blah.


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    I had an interesting experience with evaluations last week. DS6's school does an informal rating of various areas and the results were very "2e".

    Within each area (such as working independently, selecting more difficult work on his own, etc.) the teachers said they all saw him as both deserving of the highest rating and the lowest.

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    Irena- I'm sorry your ds teacher doesn't get him and moreover is focusing on the bad. It is frustrating. I think sometimes (and I'm not saying anything the teacher thinks/ has scored is right) teachers are focused on what's lacking, what can be improved. In my opinion, a good teacher can/ will identify strengths and weaknesses and provide the challenge and support appropriately.

    It's good that he is happy and she IS challenging him though. I would be happy about that.

    This sort of situation makes me wonder/ realize that not many will "get" our kids. Yet, even if they don't get them; they will be kind and challenge them. (Maybe I'm lower my standards??)


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    Irena, not much to add but your post made me sad too. Hang in there.

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