Monday, October 12, 2009

Please Don't Tell my Mom. . .

As a teacher, I am privy to a side of people's children that they often miss out on. I was remembering back on one of those moments parents don't see the other evening.

At the beginning of the school year, I was doing placement tests for my students for math.  I prefaced it by letting them know I would be asking them questions about what they might have learned in the previous year (I teach first grade) and some topics they might be learning about this year. 

I knew enough from previous years to know that no matter how good my warning, I would get a few familiar responses.  See if you can predict your child's response. . .

One or two of my little ones (usually boys) give up after the first unknown answer- crossing out each remaining question with a bold, heavy black  "x". 

A few  brave souls valiantly plug through the test, answering scattered questions, drawing pictures or question marks on those of which they are uncertain.

I always laugh at my little kiddoes who want me to stop the test to teach them exactly what they need to know to answer that question.  Sadly, we don't take time for impromptu division lessons, but I do let them know they will be learning some of those answers later on in the school year, and isn't it exciting to have so much to look forward to in math?!

The ones that break my heart, though, are not those described above.  Every year and in every class, I always have one who wants me to promise not to tell their parents that they didn't know all the answers. . .  It is devastating to me to see the tears in their eyes and the fear on their face when they cannot summon the correct answer by strength or determination. . . 

Now, I am not saying this because I think all you parents are out there coaching your six-year-olds and punishing them for asking questions and not knowing answers.  I say this because there is an inate perfectionism driving your gifted child.  An inordinate value being placed on knowing answers.  This is part of your child's identity and how they see themself, even at the age of five or six. . . 

I say this so you are aware and have a better understanding of the drama that every day life brings to your special and unique child. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reminding us how tough they can be on themselves.


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