QOTW: nurturing role of teachers....

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Registered: 02-14-2009
QOTW: nurturing role of teachers....
7
Sun, 10-31-2010 - 6:54pm

Based on the feedback I got from some of you I'd like to start posting Questions Of The Week on this board, which are on topic, sometimes practical, sometimes more philosophical. I'm looking forward to learn your opinions, points of views and see some constructive discussions. I hope the QOTWs will get some of the lurkers to post in the new set up, so we can all get used to using it...

So this week: a question that was -sort of- brought in by singrorge. One I find very interesting, as I am a college professor and am sometimes startled by the attitude of my colleagues towards the gifted students who come in (who do not have their parents advocating for them anymore of course....).

Suzanne
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Registered: 01-05-2005
Sun, 10-31-2010 - 8:32pm

We haven't had a real "mentor" per se, but the teachers who try to differentiate make such a difference. To me, all I really want is someone who is willing to get my child do different work, appropriate to his or her level. Seems simple, but it is so hard.

I'd love to see some afterschool activities like math club or history club or some different enrichment instead of the "math help" and "reading help." We have had good teachers, and caring teachers, but most simply don't have the time to really devote to kids who are already ahead of the curve.

Theresa

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Registered: 07-23-2002
Mon, 11-01-2010 - 1:47am

We have been very lucky so far. My eldest has had one amazing long-term music mentor who has taken her in as a part-time daughter the past couple of years (allowing her to live at her home when she's in the city for lessons etc.), and another higher-level mentor whose relationship isn't as deep but who has taken a regular interest in spurring her on to more ambitious goals. And she's also lucked into a teacher at the high school who has become a creative writing mentor, encouraging her, creating opportunities for her to write and validating her abilities.

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

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Registered: 08-04-2003
Mon, 11-01-2010 - 1:01pm

DS6 has only had 2 teachers, last year and this year.

His teacher last year, really didn't give a darn and no matter how we pushed we couldn't get a follow through on her/the schools end.

Photobucket
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Registered: 02-14-2009
Mon, 11-01-2010 - 4:44pm

Through the elementary years I've learned to appreciate a teacher who would a. acknowledge DDs abilities b. respect DD for them c. give her space to develop those abilities to a 'next' level, in terms of creating a nurturing environment. I knew I could consider myself lucky when a teacher went a step further and d. understood DD had to find her own fields of interest to do enrichment in and e. motivated DD to do 'official' assignments in that field. The best years were when the teacher even f. got involved into DDs enrichment work and gave true support during the process and feedback about the endresult, g. did not ask DD to do standard work first, but had her make the standard work after the enrichment (if needed at all) and most of all h. understood she could not keep up with DD and didn't have to, nor did she have to feel threatened by that. And let's not forget i. made sure DDs giftedness was perceived as normal and ok in the classroom, and kids would accept that exceptions were made for DD in terms of the curriculum.

Suzanne
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Registered: 02-14-2009
Mon, 11-01-2010 - 4:53pm
talking about mentors in musical upbringing, DD L's violin teacher is definitely fitting the bill. In the months I was seriously ill last year she opened up to L's quirkiness (as in non-verbal-ism...), learned how to communicate with her (I was no longer there as a 'translator' during lessons), and tapped into L's discipline and motivation to become a better player. She was so surprised by the self-motivation L was showing, (as was I), it really motivated HER to teach L in more detail and nuances. As a result L took huge steps the past year... finally felt 'taken seriously' ;-)
Suzanne
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 11-02-2010 - 12:08pm

DD's has always had a knack for connecting to teachers but it's really a two way street. DD's always wanted her education to be a collaboration. She tried to have that with her peers in the beginning but when that didn't work, she turned to her teachers who often seem starved for that sort of interaction with a student. Where most

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Tue, 11-02-2010 - 6:33pm

From our experiences, almost all teachers respond when dealing with a gifted child who WANTS to be helped.

I don't mean to be negative, but this honestly surprises me (in a good way :)). I think the biggest reason teachers don't want to do it is work. We've been lucky to have many good teachers, but it IS a lot of work. Ds10's math teacher prepares a separate lesson for him and a few others every single day, creates separate homework and tests, guides them in small groups and grades everything closely (no key for some of it). It definitely takes WORK and TIME and she doesn't have a surplus of either. She's already dealing with a much more differentiated class than she had a few years ago. Our teachers here often have classes of 32 - individualizing into 4 or 5 separate groups for every single subject (sometimes with one kid) takes a whole lot of time.

Theresa