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14 December 2009 @ 05:16 pm
Words I never thought I'd say...  
Fog! Yayyyy!

Last week's highs were in the lower 40s, followed by rain-rain-rain. The 40s are too cold for biking (my face can't take it-- I've got gear for everything else), and it warmed up only when the rain started. I spent last week at the gym and biking in the garage, with my last outdoor ride on 12/4. So today's fog with no rain means that it's warmer-- a whole 53-56 degrees! I went riding, I was ungodly slow over all 28.5 miles, but at least I was outside! When the garage thing goes on too long, I lose all my biking speed and stamina.

HalfshellHusband went to Christopher's parent/teacher conference last week. The teacher marked Christopher "Satisfactory" on listening in class/etc., because he feels that Christopher isn't always paying attention when he's describing the lessons... but the instruction grades were all 4 or 4+. So where is the actual problem? (I ask this rhetorically). Christopher isn't being challenged by the Gifted program he's enrolled in, so he's bored a lot of the time. From my perspective, if you're not challenging a kid and his grades on content are all outstanding, consider yourself lucky.

HalfshellHusband is peeved about the whole thing, because he thinks the school should be doing more for Christopher. Realistically, though, he's a genius child in a group of really smart kids, so he's way outside the bell curve even of his gifted class. It's rare for teachers to create MORE work for themselves by offering special challenge for smarter students-- they spend enough energy as it is on the slow students. And at this age, the classrooms are 33-34 kids. If the teacher mostly leaves Christopher "alone" to do his own thing when his work is done, that's probably the best we can hope for.

Something interesting did come out of that conference, though. Christopher, who is a chatterbox, was apparently distracting some of his tablemates. So the teacher moved him to a desk that faces the wall... and was surprised when Christopher kept talking. To himself. He just babbles away over there, narrating what he's doing. What amuses me is that both the teacher and HSH thought this was surprising. ;)

Last year's first conference was worse. Christopher had a teacher who was incredibly process-oriented, which is a terrible match for his personality (and mine). She eventually loosened up and the problem went away, but HSH was very grumpy after that first conference:

HSH: Mrs. S. said that Christopher was oppositional.
Me: And?
HSH: I can't believe she said that!
Me: Are you kidding? It's his defining characteristic!

You can tell that HSH has far more patience than I do. :0

 
 
 
The Huntress: UCFhuntress69 on December 15th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
Years ago, before the days of gifted programs, I was just given books and sat by myself and read, rarely interracting with other kids. I was bored shitless with the curriculum and was way beyond my years and yeah, I used to babble to myself. Hence boarding school, where, at 8, I was given way advanced work.

However, Matt was in the gifted programs years later and ended up bored sometimes as well, coming home and getting lost in all the books I have, half of them reference books. I would talk to the teachers, but in his case, with so many kids in the class, they didn't have the time to give him the education he needed. (Then of course there is Elizabeth, who hates to read, but has an outstanding social life. She tends to hide her brains and acts like a ditzy blonde some of the time.)

I say, if his work is done and he has a nice social life, he'll be just fine, but you already knew that.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 15th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
Years ago, before the days of gifted programs, I was just given books and sat by myself and read, rarely interracting with other kids.
Exactly-- when both HSH and I went to school (as gifted kids), you might get a little boost in instruction (I got special advanced reading in grades 1-3, in Salem, but Portland did nothing for me). But usually, the best you could hope for was that if you finished your work, the teacher would leave you alone to read (instead of prodding you with questions to force you to "participate," which is incredibly annoying).

but in his case, with so many kids in the class, they didn't have the time to give him the education he needed.
That's part of the problem. The gifted program started out with 20 students, then in grade 3 it went up to 33 students. That includes 13 students who did not qualify for the original class in that school or any other. So the teachers slowed down the reading and backed up and retaught some of the math, and it's been that way ever since. Teachers tend to teach toward the lower end of the classroom's abilities (or they lose too many kids), and the more kids in the class the worse that situation gets. Gah.

We're not too worried, except that 1) his teacher doesn't seem to be doing much, period and 2) it's an ongoing battle to teach a kid humility who is honestly good at everything. We've been over and over that, and about not bragging or assuming that everything is about him. But it is slow to sink in. I fear it more, because my Dad is very much like that and is kind of a narcissist. The seed has germinated! Must keep pruning the plant!
The Huntress: UCFhuntress69 on December 15th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
The gifted program started out with 20 students, then in grade 3 it went up to 33 students. That includes 13 students who did not qualify for the original class in that school or any other.

You too, huh? Matt had that as well. The whole idea of gifted is to challenge the kids.

1) his teacher doesn't seem to be doing much, period and 2) it's an ongoing battle to teach a kid humility who is honestly good at everything.

1) No, they don't, and I just had it out with Beth's HS (advanced)English teacher, who is a waste herself. 2) I understand that, but I somehow always managed to keep him grounded, just like you will with yours. Keep pruning and he'll be fine.