Thursday, April 23, 2009

Show Me How Smart You Are

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies within us." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did you ever get told in school that you weren't "working up to your potential?" Why do you think it is that some people are over achievers and some people just do what's needed?

Yesterday was conference day for my kids school. Marc went to one and I went to the other. My son specifically requested that Marc go to his. I was just fine with this because my daughters conference's have never been more than this through her entire 5th grade career.
"Saige is a model student and a pleasure to have in class." any random teacher says.
"Thank you." I reply.
"Do you have any questions?" teacher asks.
"Okay then, have a good day."
"Thanks for your time." I say as I shake there hand and mentally prepare for my sons.

His has traditionally gone a little differently.
"Chase is such a nice boy. Everyone loves him He always notices the littlest things." teacher says.
"Thank you." I say beaming.
"The only thing is he doesn't always hand in his homework. He likes to talk to his friends. His writing could be improved. He hurries through his work. I have him in a special reading group. Can you spend more time reading at home with him?"
"It is easier to walk over burning shards of glass, but okay."

The bottom line is, for some reason Saige has the over whelming innate need to accomplish. Chase, well, not so much.

Yesterday things went a little differently.
Saige's conference was fine, all her grades dropped a bit. She is extremely social and this has taken a front seat to school work. Her grades are still good, just not what they were. Her teacher actually said that this was the hardest marking period and that some things were more important that school work. That's what he said. Now I come from that school of thought too but also from someone who never "worked up to her potential (yet)." I want her to do more. Not in a crazy "stage mom" kind of way. In a "work hard and get a good job" way. I know she will. I'm not worried.

The big shocker was Chase's conference. Chase has consistently been bringing me home tests to sign that are all A's. He has been doing his reading. I've seen his math worksheets done. He has gotten quite a few "homework passes," in Science from work he has done all on his own. He does maintain that his teacher doesn't like him. I brush it off every time he says it. I have had enough conversations to believe she cares.

So yesterday Marc goes in there for the conference. Chase's report card had all A's and a couple B's. The teacher gives it a once over and then says to Marc, "Well, I really can't believe he did as well as he did." That doesn't sound all that nice.

I get glimpses everyday of what lies with in my children. I have complete certainty that they are going to be just fine, even when someone gives them a push in the wrong direction. It will just make them push back harder. So I think, Chase's teacher is doing him a favor. A nice smile and a compliment will only get you so far.
"Show me how smart you are." My favorite expression of all time. Right Asude?


Kathy said...

Personally, I think Chase is very smart. He has done the Math. He has only so many years to erase the "not so good conferences" from parental minds and replace them with "exceptionally responsible kid" thoughts before his 16th-Can-I-Have-A-Car birthday.

Meredith said...

I think Kathy's onto something here; he has always been very sharp at math.

Sue Jacquette said...


Lula! said...

You are the smartest person I know.

And Chase will probably be a world leader oneday.

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