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#31 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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So I inquired a bit more at the school about how the kids get chosen for differentiation and it's all based on 'parent' recommendation pretty much. So you can call this 'communication' or a 'partnership' or whatever buzzword is currently in vogue, but the fact of the matter is that you have to be pretty pushy to get this extra challenge for your kids. The spots fill up quickly and then the teachers are very reluctant to add kids after that.
A few of the moms I know personally who get their kids in these differentiated groups are very type A (unlike me) and are at the school very frequently complaining and going to the principle/vice-principle when they don't get exactly what they want. I think the teachers are afraid of these people. I talk to the teachers, but I'm more polite and never demanding. I guess I assumed that a teacher would know that a child wasn't being challenged if all their work was nearly flawless. I know that's what I would assume if I were a teacher.
My kids are very apathetic these days, don't like school and I'm sure they would thrive with more challenge, but I'm going to have to be a little more intimidating in order to get them this. I know for a fact after talking to the other moms that their kids need much more help at home to understand the material. I don't want my kids to have more work, just work that is more mentally stimulating, but maybe that's too much to ask from a public school.
My kids have always told me that school is easy or that the other kids don't seem to understand much or talk like babies, but I have always told them they they are never to say any of that at school because people will think they are bragging. Maybe I should have just let them brag like most kids do.
If this is how the school actually operates, then you need to find a different school. This is not a healthy environment if the teachers are "afraid" of puhy parents. School should be about a team approach to figuring out what is best and most appropriate for each student.

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#32 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe it is just the area in which I live and maybe you have to experience it to understand, but some of these mothers live at the school. They have no outside job, no younger children and they are at the school all the time finding volunteer activities to do so they can 'communicate' with the teacher. It is an environment which promotes an unhealthy style of parenting and if you don't do it too then you are thought of as being unwilling to communicate with the teacher (I do talk to the teacher BTW, just not everyday). So yes, as another poster mentioned, maybe this school just isn't a good fit.

As far as getting high marks as a sign that a child isn't being challenged, there are other signs as well...Being the the first or one of the first to finish work, having other kids cheating off of my kids, etc. I think the teachers are seriously just unwilling to do much about it unless you flat out tell them and get the principle in on it. I will do that if it is necessary, but am I the only one here who thinks this whole system is incredibly flawed? Meanwhile, none of this differentiation is based on actual merit so really like another poster wrote, how challenging could it possibly be.

Also, as far as gifted kids getting certain questions wrong, you also have smart kids who know when a question doesn't make complete logical sense, but they still know the answer the teacher will expect and so they put that down. My children will tell me that kind of stuff, but not the teacher, another reason why they might get overlooked.
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#33 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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They have no outside job, no younger children and they are at the school all the time finding volunteer activities to do so they can 'communicate' with the teacher. It is an environment which promotes an unhealthy style of parenting ...
Not sure what I'm missing here. Stay-at-home parents who are very involved as supporters of the school make for an unhealthy style of parenting? Clearly we're on different wavelengths.

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#34 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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Not sure what I'm missing here. Stay-at-home parents who are very involved as supporters of the school make for an unhealthy style of parenting? Clearly we're on different wavelengths.

Miranda
I agree. There are parents at our school who are there every day. I'm so thankful for them and all that they do! I don't feel threatened, or that they somehow detract from how my students interact with their teacher.

What they are doing is supporting the whole school, and everyone benefits from this.

Again, it isn't a competition. Everyone does what they can. I do what I can, and if that is less then another parent, I am thankful for that parent filling in where I can't.

Now there are many studies that actually state that parent nomination for gifted services are more accurate then teacher nominations, because teachers miss the underachievers, or the kids who are too polite to speak up/act out when under-challenged.


It is absolutely critical that parents then communicate for these students.

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#35 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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I had an IEP meeting for my DD yesterday. It went really well. While we certainly held the meeting for my DD, I was struck as I left that going through this process may help more than my DD. The learning specialist had been researching gifted children (this is a board with very, very few identified children ) and seemed to be genuinely excited to help meet the needs of gifted students. Communicating your childs needs may be good for the class/school as a whole.

Part of asking for differentiation affects more than just your child. It is not a selfish or a "look at me" move.

Edited to add: I just read your update. If there really is some sort of pushy/competitive get your child into the top tier ASAP thing going on - that is not good. If your kids are genuinely gifted, they probably are not losing out much by not being in the top tier, anyway. If a top tier serves 25% of the population it is still not enough for most gifted kids. Ex: most kids have mice on their spelling list, top tier has mouse, but your kid can spell magnesium.
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#36 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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none of this differentiation is based on actual merit
without MERIT----that's a issue IMO

if that is the case why would you want your child in the program?

when you have done meetings (assuming you have) why haven't you asked about placing in the program/group?

 

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#37 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
Now if I tell the teacher and push for my child to be more challenged I'm sure the teacher would gladly abide, but why do I always have to do this.
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Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
(I do talk to the teacher BTW, just not everyday).
I don't understand. Have you talked to the teacher or not?

I'm one of the parents who is at the school a lot, volunteers, talks to the teachers about how my kids are doing, etc. I feel grateful that I have these opportunities. So few SAHPs are left once all the kids are school age, and it makes it easy for the staff and nicer for the kids when we volunteer.

It's very healthy.

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#38 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Maybe it is just the area in which I live and maybe you have to experience it to understand, but some of these mothers live at the school. They have no outside job, no younger children and they are at the school all the time finding volunteer activities to do so they can 'communicate' with the teacher. It is an environment which promotes an unhealthy style of parenting and if you don't do it too then you are thought of as being unwilling to communicate with the teacher (I do talk to the teacher BTW, just not everyday). So yes, as another poster mentioned, maybe this school just isn't a good fit.
Why exactly are you so hostile towards these parents? Personally, I did live at my DD's elementary school. I did work part-time and had a little one. Yes, I volunteered extra because I knew my DD was a complicated case and I wanted to help. You know what I did? I tutored below level students most. I did some work with high-level readers in the early grades. I ran a strategy game club open to all. I also made countless copies for teachers my children would never have. I never talked to teachers about my own children unless they called me into a formal conference wanting ideas how to further accomodate my kids. The moms that volunteered the most were NOT the ones pushing for unreasonable accomodations for unqualified kids. It was more the parents who DIDN'T volunteer, who really didn't know what was going on in class, who didn't have a good understanding, who bought into the notion that their children were the smartest on campus without having any real experience with the other kids, ect. I have come across some obnoxious parents but they are few and they rarely actually get what they want. It sounds to me you just want to blame them for your kids not getting what you want instead of stepping up and doing something yourself.

Are you really so sure the kids in the high groups are less capable than your own? Do you know this from actually working with them or just what your kids say? The perspectives of 1st and 3rd grade students can be scewed and can be heavily influenced by what they think will make their parents proud. If your children are moderately gifted as you say, then they most certainly are not alone in class. There is also a good chance that there will be higher levels of giftedness present as well. Plus, if you feel the higher level groups are worthless, why even be upset that your children aren't in them?

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#39 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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I would stop thinking about the other parents and their kids. How other parents interact with teachers and advocate for their children should have no bearing on what you do for yours.

If you have concerns about your child's education, as a parent it is your responsibility to address them. And as for why you should have to (instead of the teacher picking up on the issues him or herself)...well, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. It always has.

And in all honesty, unless you are in the classroom yourself, you don't know what the other students are capable of.

I know it's hard. I've had to talk to teachers and administrators and have sometimes felt like "that mom." But, when push comes to shove, you do what you have to do for your kids.

Communicate with the teacher. Schedule a meeting. One step at a time.

Best wishes!
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#40 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure what I'm missing here. Stay-at-home parents who are very involved as supporters of the school make for an unhealthy style of parenting? Clearly we're on different wavelengths.

Miranda
Yes, there is a point where it goes from healthy interest to unhealthy controlling obsession. There are a good number of mothers like this at the school, but there are also a good number of mothers who have a healthy level of interest in our children and none of us like the atmosphere that is created by the former. They act like they own the school and really do very little to improve it...They are supposed to be busy with volunteer work, but mostly you'll catch them gossiping about teachers, students, etc. They all claim to have profoundly gifted kids of course according to some test somewhere and sometimes the kids are embarrassed by the fact that mom is always around. I do think the faculty gets worn down by these women due to sheer persistence. I do see their kids quite frequently as they are in the same social group as mine and I would know if they are profoundly gifted and they aren't. Often times they have a bully style personality that they get from mom. I do think that the school ultimately needs to put their foot down with regard to this 'helicopter' parenting, but being the first to voice this will ruffle feathers..I know for a fact that many other moms feel as I do, but just don't want to do anything about it.
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#41 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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Yes, there is a point where it goes from healthy interest to unhealthy controlling obsession. There are a good number of mothers like this at the school, but there are also a good number of mothers who have a healthy level of interest in our children and none of us like the atmosphere that is created by the former. They act like they own the school and really do very little to improve it...They are supposed to be busy with volunteer work, but mostly you'll catch them gossiping about teachers, students, etc. They all claim to have profoundly gifted kids of course according to some test somewhere and sometimes the kids are embarrassed by the fact that mom is always around. I do think the faculty gets worn down by these women due to sheer persistence. I do see their kids quite frequently as they are in the same social group as mine and I would know if they are profoundly gifted and they aren't. Often times they have a bully style personality that they get from mom. I do think that the school ultimately needs to put their foot down with regard to this 'helicopter' parenting, but being the first to voice this will ruffle feathers..I know for a fact that many other moms feel as I do, but just don't want to do anything about it.
If they claim to have a test that shows for giftedness you should take it at face value. Really, when someone tells me there child was tested and scored in the gifted range, I believe them.

That being said, you seem to have a lot of anger towards your children's school (btdt by the way and it is not healthy for anyone) and your children are unhappy at the school - perhaps a change is in order. Are there other schools availible? Homeschooling?

If there is a strong culture of heavy volunteering plus the children of volunteers having "perks" that is unlikely to change in a timely manner.
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#42 of 47 Old 09-24-2010, 11:28 PM
 
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I just got informed that my son is *not* in the highest reading group...because he is not showing the ability to follow the teacher's directions like "Open your book to page 3" as fast as the other kids in the group do.

My son *belongs* in that group by ability, and there's a high possibility he has an...I guess this is what you would call it---an auditory processing disability? deficiency?
The point is, my son does not seem to understand and process directions or questions that he hears as well as he *should* be able to based on age and intellectual ability.

I'm posting more about this over on special needs, as I am trying to figure out what comes next and if I'm advocating "correctly." I am posting tonight, it'll have some sort of title about advocating or auditory processing delay or something. I don't want to hijack this, but if you go there, you'll be able to see what I mean...I'm not trying to make excuses for him or anything like that. I honestly see something.

And he DOES belong in the high level reading group based solely on his ability to read, if he was awake right now, he'd likely be reading this post over my shoulder nearly perfectly, lol. He is in kindergarten and not quite 6.

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#43 of 47 Old 09-25-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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peacefu_mama: You should post your own thread here on gifted - just so it does not get lost in this one. Just cut and paste.

If you can afford it I would get private testing done. If you cannot, try having a meeting with a learning specialist to talk about in school testing and what types of test might be best for someone with a possible Audtitory issue. I think in most places if you put a request in wtiting, the school has to comply.

If you have not yet - wander over to the Hoagies board for some basic reading:

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/
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#44 of 47 Old 09-25-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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Slightly OT, but OP I would recommend that you read: Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads. It sounds to me that's what's going on for your kids. I know those types of parents. Thankfully, the number at our school is small.

It sounds like the school has some major boundary issues that they've failed to set with the parents. You can't change the other parents, but you can change your reaction to them, and you can consistently and politely advocate for your children. The teachers will appreciate your approach. Really. Direct politeness takes more time than loud pushiness, but it's does take more time.

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#45 of 47 Old 09-25-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by connieculkins View Post
Yes, there is a point where it goes from healthy interest to unhealthy controlling obsession. There are a good number of mothers like this at the school, but there are also a good number of mothers who have a healthy level of interest in our children and none of us like the atmosphere that is created by the former. They act like they own the school and really do very little to improve it...They are supposed to be busy with volunteer work, but mostly you'll catch them gossiping about teachers, students, etc. They all claim to have profoundly gifted kids of course according to some test somewhere and sometimes the kids are embarrassed by the fact that mom is always around. I do think the faculty gets worn down by these women due to sheer persistence. I do see their kids quite frequently as they are in the same social group as mine and I would know if they are profoundly gifted and they aren't. Often times they have a bully style personality that they get from mom. I do think that the school ultimately needs to put their foot down with regard to this 'helicopter' parenting, but being the first to voice this will ruffle feathers..I know for a fact that many other moms feel as I do, but just don't want to do anything about it.
Connie, that just sounds like a toxic situation. I don't know if you have any other option, but if my kids were growing apathetic about school I'd find some way to make it better/change the situation.

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#46 of 47 Old 09-26-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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I think more communication about the gifted program is definitely in order. There are a lot of assumptions being made, it seems.

However, I can attest to being in a place where volunteerism sometimes crosses the line, and parents are far more involved than is good for anyone. I say this as a mom who volunteers on a regular basis. I have seen some really negative behavior from parents who are at the school so regularly, and are so involved with the classroom that they feel on par with the teacher. I can't stand it, and I think that it does a disservice to the kids.
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#47 of 47 Old 09-30-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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Coming into this late, but I am probably what the OP would term a "pushy" parent. I'm a SAHM, the room mom, on the PTA Board, etc...

However, I also have a child who has tested as gifted and who fits the personality type of a "challenging gifted child."


Challenging Gifted Child Personality Type

This personality type includes very creative, but often frustrated or bored, gifted children. They question the systems around them and are often rebellious because their abilities are unrecognized. Impatient, direct, and competitive, such children have low self-esteem. They need acceptance, understanding, and advocacy from the parents.


As a result, I need to be a strong (but diplomatic) advocate for my child because if he is not strongly and consistently challenged, he has a lot of social problems in and outside of the classroom. Teachers frequently misinterpret this issue as simply a discipline one and so my "pushing" for differentiation actually benefits everyone.

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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