And then she said, “Your son is successful in all the areas here, he doesn’t need improvement in any of them. Let me show you some of his work and give you some examples of what I am talking about…”
She pulled out the spelling test. “Your son,” she said, “was the only child in the entire class who knew how to spell every sight word we’ve learned so far.”
“Look at his writing,” she said, as she pulled out another sheet. “And look here,” she pointed. “He knows how to use punctuation marks! I can talk about something one day and the next day he is incorporating it into his writing. Because I know he is listening, it is easy for me to sneak in more learning. I can write a question on the board and casually mention to the class that this is a question mark and we use it when we ask a question, and the next day your son is using question marks appropriately in his writing. None of the other children are doing this.”
“And here,” she pointed again, “he is using QUOTATION MARKS! I talked about them just the other day and the next day he was trying them out!”
“I LOVE having him in my class,” she said. “I just get so excited because I see he is learning things and I can just slip new concepts in, like punctuation marks, and I know that he at least, will pick up on them. We don’t usually teach punctuation marks in Kindergarten but it’s an easy thing for me to slip in there and your son picks up on it and has something new to think about and practice using.”
“In math, he is so advanced I’ve arranged to meet with the math enrichment teacher to have her develop a special math program for him so we can continue to meet his needs and so he won’t be bored. It will be special, just for him, and only one or two other children in the entire Kindergarten.”
“The other children,” she went on, “look up to him and go to you son for help on things. In fact, just the other day a bunch of them went up to him on the playground to get him to solve a problem for them. They had been playing something and had some kind of problem and one of them said “Snags can help us solve this!” And the children all agreed, so off they went to find him. He has lots of friends here. He gets along with everyone. He likes to help others.”
“He follows the rules, he is responsible. I can always count on him to listen and do what I have asked. I don’t have to repeat myself.”
Right up until that last sentence I had been nodding my head and smiling encouragingly. Tell me more! I thought. Go on, brag up my kid! I thought. I mean, I knew he was pretty smart. We haven’t done any IQ tests or anything, but compared to some of the kids he plays with whom I can’t even understand, who don’t know their shapes or their colors or how to count to ten, well, he just seemed pretty smart to me. He can count up to 200, and he uses words like apparently and evidently and vegetation and possibility and perhaps.
But then she said “He follows the rules…I can always count on him to listen and do what I have asked. I don’t have to repeat myself…” and I got such a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. She can’t be talking about my kid, I thought. Certainly not. Listening? Not having to repeat herself? If she’s got this part confused with some other child, then maybe all the smarty pants talk was about another kid as well…
Because right before the babysitter knocked on the door so my husband and I could go to the parent-teacher conference, I had to take the LEGOS away for misbehavior. For not listening. For not following the rules. Get a bath without arguing. Brush your teeth and get your pajamas on… “Okay, fine then. I am taking away the LEGOS!”
But she said she was talking about my kid.
So I invited her to come live with us.