In what ways is your child smart?
As a teacher, I sometimes got asked by parents, “Is my child smart?”
I would tell parents (as politely as possible, of course) that they were asking the “wrong” question. They should, instead, be asking, “In what ways do you think my child is smart?”
“Smart” and “intelligent” are such relatives terms; no matter how concisely we may strive to define or quantify them.
I taught a child who “failed” third grade, made generally poor grades all the way through school, and eventually dropped out of high school. He is now a contractor in NC, building million-dollar homes, and living in one of them himself. This young boy was obviously highly mechanically intelligent all along, but that “type of smarts” was never put at a premium during his public school years.
I taught another child who made straight A’s and scored perfect scores on all those governmentally-mandated Almighty year-end tests. He has never found meaningful work to this day.
We do well to remember that “smarts” is not everything. Persistence and hard work and “finding our way” go a long way, too.
All good teachers recognize that all children are “smart”, each in their own way, and you can bet we do our darndest to help them find out how.
My question in this column today is; do you do the same with your child/grandchild?
Or do you do like so many - and go primarily by that school report card?
I was 30 before I realized I was “smart” (in the more “traditionally measured” sense of the word).
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