As I begin to prepare for my own classroom and new group of students, I think about my son’s upcoming school year. First grade was challenging and we hope that this is “the year.” You know…the year when
-your kid is appreciated by his teacher
-he finds a best friend
-he is excited by what he is learning
-he smiles as he talks about school
As a teacher, I know the demands of the job! I know what it is like to have a crowded classroom, wide range of academic abilities & interests, varying social skills & friendship issues, and limited time to cover all of the important curriculum. I know that with this job (hard, exhausting, emotional, important, always-on-the-go job) a kid like mine takes…energy.
He might challenge someone’s patience as he shares his ideas or ways of doing things.
He could challenge someone’s words since he is extremely literal and wants people to do what they say.
He will challenge his classmates with his black and white view of social rules/issues.
All of these things will happen…more than once. Probably more than once a day! But here’s the thing….If you are a teacher, it is your job to teach all of the students! Despite the challenges, you will always have a kid like mine in your class. What should you know about my boy?
Form a positive relationship with him and you are half way there.
He is truly gifted (not in social skills or impulsive control) and he needs to be presented higher-level thinking activities not just MORE of the same.
Peers might not get him and honestly…he doesn’t get them.
His sensory issues impact every part of his day-the crowded coatroom, the restricted carpet space, the loud lunchroom, and the covered walls, etc.
Once you find out that your child is twice-exceptional, it is truly a double-edged sword. The fact that your child is bright is fantastic, but the fact that he is also on the other side of the bell curve for other issues is worrisome. I think that my son is held to a standard that many others aren’t. It’s almost this…if you TRULY were gifted you could FIGURE it out!
It is important for my son’s teacher (and other teacher’s with 2e kids) to think about him as persistent, passionate, and unique instead of inflexible, stubborn and challenging.
I believe in positive thinking and we intend that THIS will be HIS year!