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When Being Right is Wrong…

April 21, 2010

If a child you love has ever come home from school with a note like this one, you probably understand the need for gifted education programs.

(From the Huffington Post “Punished for Being Awesome” archive.)

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2010 7:37 pm

    I would never understand if I were the son. Dang…

  2. Yup. That's right. permalink
    June 25, 2010 6:58 pm

    Yes, I worked at a middle school library. I HAVE seen this happen and the child was disciplined for asking a perfectly relevant question the teacher did not know the answer to. There were only two students attending the lesson IN the library. The child could have very well been encouraged to look it up later or right then and there. When will America teach it is okay for students and teachers to learn together. Why the authoritarian dictatorship in the public school system? It is rather destructive and embarrassing in comparison to other efficient uses of educational styles in other cultures.

  3. gorjusgal permalink
    July 29, 2010 11:40 pm

    My own story is that I asked a Sunday School Teacher how Adam and Eve existed alongside the theory of evolution which was being proven scientifically with great regularity. I was seven at the time and keenly wanting to know how to marry the two “theories” so that I could make sense of it! 🙂 Instead, I was thrown out of Sunday school, called a rude little girl who had the devil in her and a trouble maker. She pointed at the door, arm outstretched, her face red, her body language aggressive, and screamed “Out! Get out of my class!” So, the 7yo took her frightened 5yo sister, found their parents in Church, and we all left for good. When my parents discussed this with the management, they were told that I was rebellious and that I was disruptive to the class and was not welcome to return. It took me 40 years to finally understand that that teacher was embarrassed and had no answers, nor did she understand that the question was asked in faith, that the desired outcome was that she would assist a child in the quest for knowledge and understanding.

    There will be many instances where people just don’t understand how the brain of a gifted person works. I believe that whilst we cannot change the level of understanding (or lack thereof) that the general community has of gifted people, we can, however, educate our children to use different methods of communication in different situations and with different people. My 9yo girl knows she is different, and had great trouble understanding how her age-group peers act like her understanding of how a 6-7yo would act. I took the tack of teaching her that people develop at different times, and then taught (and practised with) her different ways of recognising “where” people were sitting emotionally, and then gave her methods of communicating “on their level”. We made it very positive with fun games, and she feels empowered when she stops and listens to a person, and thinks of their position and the reasons they would say something. Of course, its not foolproof, but she sure is a LOT happier and tolerant of others, AND she is not “personally wounded” the way she used to be. Best of luck. Hope you spoke to the principal of the school and said that the teacher’s lack of tolerance and lack of reassuring your son was totally unacceptable and inappropriate!

  4. Tiffanie Pierce permalink
    February 9, 2011 3:29 pm

    As a teacher, it hurts me to see how uneducated some educators are. The best teacher is one who can admit when he/she is wrong and encourage children to question and explore answers.

  5. Kristen West permalink
    February 20, 2011 3:59 pm

    This is ridiculous that a child was treated this way. I think it is important for students to question things, especially when they are right!!

  6. Kristen West permalink
    February 20, 2011 4:01 pm

    I had a similar, yet not as drastic, Sunday school incident occur when I was little. I didn’t understand how people knew all of the things that happened so long ago so I kept asking because it didn’t make sense to me. I was constantly shushed and told to do my work. To this day I still don’t understand but maybe somebody should have taken the time to answer my question. If one of my teachers had shown kindness or understanding it may have gone a long way.

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