Okay, so you’re mad. You’ve had it. You want to just march into your child’s classroom and let the teacher know that you’re done with this nonsense. You cannot stand it one more instant – watching your gifted child languish unattended, bored, undereducated, unstimulated.
It’s not like you haven’t already tried. You’ve let the teacher know your child wanted more challenging work. You’ve sent carefully worded notes and e-mails. You’ve sat through parent-teacher conferences, nodding politely, tactfully offering a few suggestions. You’ve patiently waited and hoped for something to change.
But wait! If you barrel into the classroom, guns a-blazin' (metaphorically speaking), you risk alienating the very person you need most on your side. It’s just not good strategy to alienate your child’s teacher. Even if nothing has changed so far, you can still develop a plan, work collaboratively with the teacher, and chip away at the problem.
What are the steps you need to take?
You may not like these solutions. They may not seem fair. Gifted education should be a right, not a privilege. You should not have to walk on eggshells to advocate for what your child needs!
Valid points. But the reality is that forming a collaborative relationship with your child’s teacher may be the best option you have. It is also good role-modeling for your child. Children can benefit from witnessing their parents advocating for what is needed, but also working collaboratively and cooperatively with others. Yes, some parents homeschool their children, or seek our private schools, beneficial alternatives, but also with some drawbacks. Ultimtately, advocacy for all gifted children and widespread change in how gifted education is implemented is needed. But until then, you have the day to day dilemma of working with your child’s teacher. And the sooner you form a partnership, the more likely you will achieve productive results.
(Note: Forming a partnership with your child's teacher is just one step in the process. There is much more to advocacy. See NAGC (http://www.nagc.org/get-involved/advocate-high-ability-learners/advocacy-toolkit?id=36) for more tips about advocacy. A future blog post will cover more about advocacy.) The Davidson Institute also provides a free Advocacy Guidebook (PDF) http://www.davidsongifted.org/Young-Scholars/Free-Guidebooks.
This article is reprinted with permission from https://giftedchallenges.blogspot.com/ and is used here with permission.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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