Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A leap of logic?

So, this is what the teacher said to me:

"We aren't going to call on him anymore this year because he already knows all the answers and other kids need a chance to answer."

(This is what I thought:  Then, why is he there?  If he knows the answer to every question, why is he there?  And if you aren't going to let him answer any questions, why is he there?)

Teacher: "He's light years ahead of the other kids.  He's reading at the level he should be at the end of next year.  He's doing math two grade levels ahead."

(Me: I know!  Isn't it great?  Aren't you proud of him?)

Teacher:  "This is a problem because he's bothering the other kids. He finishes his work too fast and then wants to talk to the other kids.  Could you send in some books and activities to keep him busy while the other kids finish their work?"

(Me:  I'm supposed to find ways to keep him entertained while other kids finish their work?  Aren't you the teacher?)  

Teacher: "We're limited in what we're allowed to do, curriculum-wise.  I can't teach him math two grade levels ahead.  I'm not really allowed to."

(Me: Well, I am.  If I'm supposed to find enrichment work for him, and he's a bother in the classroom, and he isn't going to be called on, and you're not allowed to let him advance, it seems clear that he's better off at home.)

So, we make arrangements to keep him at home.  Then:

Teacher:  "I didn't know he wanted to do enrichment work!  We have lots of extra math worksheets.  He's welcome to do some extra worksheets!  Oh, and his handwriting needs work."

(Me: Nyah! Nyah!)

Yeah, real mature, I know.  At least I didn't say it out loud.


Liese4 said...

Now wait till they get their work done in 20 min, and you say 'what are we going to do for the rest of the day?' Then they find something interesting to work on (that is not a worksheet) and fill up their day.

Enrichment is not worksheets, enrichment is museums, books, outdoor play, lectures, on-line games, unit studies, volunteering, etc.

Sparklees said...

I agree 100%!

That post is a bit cranky, isn't it? I was actually very gracious at the time (I hope!) and I can totally see the teacher's perspective. She has 25 kids to deal with, and some of them need more help than others.

Having a bright child who loves to learn is a really nice problem to have, and I don't want to sound ungrateful! I'm so glad that he's doing well and wants to learn more. But there are more creative ways to inspire kids to learn than just piling on more schoolwork and homework.

I'm really looking forward to having the freedom to do all those enrichment activities with my kids!