I heard the words 'gifted & talented' this morning.
I don't know what to think about this label.
I would really appreciate any thoughts on the topic.
I dropped my boy at school this morning and his teacher wanted to speak to me.
We've known since our boy was two that he was fairly advanced, particularly with numbers.
I was surprised when at three he could do Year Two level mental operational maths.
I was even more surprised when at four he was adding his play money and just started counting in fives. I'd never shown him, he just knew. I got tears in my eyes and asked, "How do you know that?" His standard answer at the time was, "I just learned it up."
He talks about percentages, and understands what that means.
He can not only tell the time but tell you how many minutes it is until a certain time.
He can read five and six digit numbers, understands the concepts of addition, subtraction and multiplication. He can double any number quicker than I can.
I didn't say anything when he started school, I just wanted to see how he went.
His teacher picked up on his 'exceptional' Maths skills last term and told us she was going to have him assessed by the learning support team to see what level of extension he would need.
This morning she told me he will be doing the Year 1 (he's in Prep) tests to see where's he's at across the board. Then they'll make a profile on him for the 'Gifted & Talented' program.
That was the first time I'd heard the words 'gifted & talented' associated with my boy.
When I was teaching I heard it a lot. And it wasn't always good.
Teachers (including me) were a little fearful of having a gifted & talented child because that meant extra pressure to write extra programs and follow up with extra extension work. (I was flat out just trying to keep up with regular classroom work without having extra stuff!)
Parents would sometimes think they had a gifted & talented child (when really they were just above average) and would push for their child to be assessed.
Children tagged with the label may have felt extra pressure to perform and then didn't know what to do with their 'gifted & talented-ness' in the end anyway.
As a parent I feel like I shouldn't say anything to anyone for fear people will think I'm bragging.
I don't know what to think to be honest. It makes me a little nervous. But it can be good, right?
It's a label that sounds good, but honestly, if he's happy, busy and has nice friends at school, what more does he need?
I do wonder what he'll be or do when he grows up, but the thing I want most for him is to be happy and contribute positively to society. Does anything else really matter?
Of course I'm incredibly proud of my amazing little man.
I've just never liked the term 'gifted and talented' very much.
Because all kids are gifted and all kids are gifts.