At this week’s parent/teacher conference, my suspicions were confirmed…
If you have followed my blog over the last few years, you are aware that I am not the “stereotypical” New York mom when it comes to the education of my kids. I refused to test for placement in a preschool. (Rather, I did a crazy 3+ hours/day commute for a 2 and a 1/2 hours/day program.) I refused to have my child take a gifted and talented test, because I just don’t believe in testing kids at the ages of 3 and 4. (Rather, we moved to an area where all of the local, zoned schools are great.) In fact, one of the biggest reasons that we picked the school that Michael attends was that it did not have a Talented and Gifted program. That is why the last few weeks have been puzzling.
A couple of weeks ago, Michael mentioned that he didn’t get to go to recess with the rest of the kids in his class. I asked if he was being punished for misbehaving and he responded, “No. I was just sent to another class where we read books and discussed them.” Hmmm.
Then, he brought home The Gospel Cinderella book and mentioned that this special class that he attended was doing a comparison and contrast of the book with the original Cinderella story. It’s actually a really great book. I was just surprised that it was due back so quickly. Also TAG was written in the front of the book, which made me wonder if he was in a Talented and Gifted class without me knowing about it.
Finally, one day I was considering picking Michael up early from school. I asked him what he would be missing if I picked him up at a certain time. He responded that he would miss his TAG class. As I asked more questions, I learned that he and one of the other kids in his class were pulled out from their regular class to attend this special class with various other kids. Interesting…
I was all ready to express my indignation that my child was placed in a special class without my knowledge and/or approval. Fortunately, I spoke to some older and wiser mom friends before the conference with his teacher. A friend encouraged me to be careful not to parent from a place of fear. (I was conflicted. On one hand, I was happy that Michael was doing so well in school. The fear came in with me not wanting him to be labeled and to miss out on fun – like recess- in order to be a part of this TAG program.)
In any event, Tuesday’s teacher meeting confirmed my suspicions. He has been placed in a special pull-out program for especially bright first graders. It is what it is. After learning more about the program, I am actually looking forward to seeing how it goes. Best of all, the teacher addressed my concerns about Michael missing recess in order to attend the class. She shared that was an one-time occurrence and that it would not happen again. That is good enough for me. If he can learn at the level that meets his needs and have fun like all of the other kids, then I’m happy. Most importantly, Michael enjoys the TAG classes. Who am I to interfere with that?
It’s so funny…I see that I get all worked up about educational things (too much homework, TAG programs, etc.) that don’t even bother Michael. I’m going to reserve my energy and wait until he actually has a problem with something before I get all ready to go into battle the next time!
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