Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sharing Some Good News

Our girls recently received letters accepting them into the Center for the Gifted program, an affiliate of National-Louis University. They will take their first classes this summer. They are registered for the 1/2 day program, so they will take three different classes during the two-week camp ranging from Fairy Tale Festival to Biology You Can Eat to Mathemagicians. Just reading the descriptions made the girls giggle.

When the letters came, I told a few family members and friends, then I put the letters away. I have heard really good things about the program. I'm very excited about the classes, yet I've already learned it's not something I can share with everyone.

Remember when you were a kid and being smart wasn't cool? Well, nothing has changed there. I sit with parents at different activities and most everyone else is talking about the special classes their children take. One is in a reading enrichment class. One is in a math homework support group. One has ADD. Another is in speech therapy. These parents are comparing programs and outcomes. I sit and smile and offer support.

I've tried to participate in these conversations -- mostly by answering questions when asked -- but it's clear that these parents don't want to hear me talk about how well the girls are doing in school. They don't want to hear about the gifted program the girls were just accepted into. They don't understand that accelerated learners have their own educational challenges. They think we are sitting on easy street because the girls are accelerated learners. I thought we've moved past those stereotypes, but we haven't.

We're really excited and proud that the girls are part of the Center for the Gifted program. Still, we sit in a strange place. We have good news that we can only share with a few people. It's a balancing act that I'm not sure I like, but I better get used to it. After all, the girls are only in kindergarten. They have a lot of school years ahead of them.

This was originally posted on the Chicago Moms Blog.


Anonymous said...

I don't mean to burst your bubble, but the summer gifted programs aren't all they are promoted to be. They are there to generate yet more money for a university that is based on profiteering degree programs.
I have an aquaintance who teaches one of the courses, and she, like most of the other teachers, isn't a very qualified teacher.
I teach many kids that are labeled as gifted, and they are far from it. Because one excels in the primary grades, or is a good standardized tester at a tender age, does not mean that they will excel in high school or college or within their chosen career. Also, many children living with the label (it's a label like any other) can and may encounter issues if said label is promoted by parents and others.

Julie K said...

Very cool on the acceptance in the program. I know what you mean about talking to other parents... I sometimes think my son will be the only one taking the SAT timed around here.

Noelle said...

Hi Shari, Just read your post over there. Congratulations! Not only on your girls being accepted to the gifted program but also for being such an involved parent that you seek out opportunities for them. Looking forward to hearing more about their summer adventures!