I know these words strike fear in the heart of every parent. I was watching a television program the other night where a teacher asked to meet with a parent about her child. . . It reminded me of an experience my mom had with my younger brother.
The teachers were concerned and thought my brother was mildly mentally handicapped. My mom thought they were crazy! In the case of the television show and my brother, boredom was masking itself as a learning disability. Turns out my brother and the little boy on the show were both brilliant! My brother graduated first in his high school class, and went on to become a successful chemical engineer. Do you know who he wanted to invite to his graduations?
His first grade teacher, who thought he was "slow". . .
As teachers, we leave an indelible imprint on the children whose lives we influence. For better or for worse.
We seem to know more easily what to do with a slow or a learning disabled child than we do an exceptionally bright child. I've dedicated my career to this special population, and I will admit that they often leave me confused, frustrated and downright tired! There is no manual or guide because each child is their own special amalgamation of characteristics. . . We learn as we go in this quandary called working and parenting the gifted.
How sad it is that this population is so mislabeled and misunderstood! How many of your parents out there have had similar experiences? How many of you teachers out there have had those meetings?
My hope is that with increased knowledge will come increased advocacy as well as increased opportunity for this wonderfully unique population.