Ali E's post today got me thinking about report card day here in our household. Ian brought home his tentative report card yesterday. It was all A's. One would think that a momma like me would be thrilled to have him bring this card home. And, please, stay with me here...I am happy he's is doing so well. But, the truth is...that even though he's in every honors class available--he's not being challenged. Most of his classes he's at 100%. While I don't expect him to be perfect, I do expect him to always do his best. But what really is HIS BEST? If a child is never challenged to find his ceiling, will he/she ever really know what he/she is capable of? What would our world be missing out on? What great invention? Great leader? Great teacher? Great physicist, engineer, you name it.
A woman, named Nancy, posted, these remarks on Ali's blog today, and it resonated with me:
Sometimes “handicaps” are actually just the opposite. There may be a “standard” to which one is expected to adhere too. I wish more of education was targeted toward helping an individual be challenged at their level.
Think of the child who easily gets all A’s… it is easlily; check, check, check… and it’s all good. All the while failing to actually see the child.
I have children on both ends of the spectrum. One of my boys could read when he was 4… anything you put in front of him. Everything was easy for him on “grade” level. Children get little notice or challenge to be the best they can personally be, in a way very overlooked.
It may seem strange to be saying this, lucky kid, How dare one “complain”. However my heart aches for this boy. It was all just so easy for him. “HE” was seriously lost in it all. No, "work on this, strive for this..." etc. It took little effort and felt so meaningless to him.
Self esteem comes from being the best self YOU can be, not from some standard.
He has never found this.
I wonder what he could do if he had found that challenge. The “person” is developed in striving to be the best you can be. True self esteem. It is only when you have to apply yourself to acheive something that it strengthens you and helps you grow. Every child should have this in the education system, regardless of where they fall in the spectrum!
Here here, Ms. Nancy! Thanks for writing it for all of us out there struggling with "Standards."