This blog post came to me as I stood in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. (I felt a little bit like Nicolas Cage in the movie National Treasure).
It was an epiphany.
It was almost like someone was screaming it in my year.
“Write this blog, write this blog, write this blog… and stop calling them blogs…”
Oh wait. Someone was.
No, it wasn’t Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin (the voices in my head have stopped… for the most part).
The idea came to me from my mother-in-law. She came up with this observation as my Evil Spawn (her Evil GrandSpawn) was getting reading to look at the great American Historical Documents.
Included were the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Louisiana Purchase.
And I almost forgot. Elvis’s Letter to President Nixon (the one where Elvis wanted to lead the war on drugs… although we didn’t actually see this letter, I would have liked to…).
Actually we didn’t really “see” any of the documents clearly. Walking into the National Archives is live walking into a cave. It’s 42 degrees and dark. Really dark.
It’s like being locked in the trunk of a car (this is a whole different blog).
When we walked into the archives, I felt like a spelunker (Google it if you don’t know).
The good people at the government keep the National Archives like this to preserve “the original documents.” (Yeah, like the ones they let you see are the “originals”.)
They couldn’t fool Nicolas Cage and they can’t fool me (Copies I say! … and yes, I do expect to be audited at any moment).
During my time as a school administrator (6 years… or 42 years in getting treated like a dog years…), I have learned many things.
One of those things is that the majority of parents who are proud owners of a smart student believe their child is gifted.
To parents… Straight A’s = Gifted.
No it doesn’t.
Have you seen the Honor Roll lately? Every kid in school is on it.
C’s used to mean average. Now they mean possible IEP (but this is a rant for another blog…).
Truly gifted isn’t being in the top 20% of the class. It’s more like 1/20th of the top 1% of the class.
I have met a ton of really smart, bright, successful students and I can count on one hand the number of students who have really been truly gifted.
In my opinion public schools need to spend more time and money on the top 20% of students (or “gifted students” as mom and dad call them).
Realistically, this probably isn’t going to happen.
But the good news is gifted education is everywhere.
And this is what my mother-in-law was pointing out. The best gifted education comes from parents.
Through travel, the library, extra work on the internet, camps, and other experiences that families can provide.
Gifted education in schools is needed, but if it’s not, it can still be provided by those proud parents.
And if you think those parents are a little delusional on their child’s abilities… you should meet Grandma.