Monday, September 30, 2013

Getting Punkgirl's Back

     I got a call from the school guidance counselor on Thursday, which is generally never a good thing.  Imagine my surprise when he was calling to tell me that Punkgirl was doing so well in her 7th grade math class that the teacher recommends moving her up to the next level.  As my proud mama chest swelled to its high point, 3 things clicked in my head:

1.  Punkgirl had had a tough couple of weeks at school.  An issue with another child (who was harassing her non-stop) had culminated with the school canceling an outreach program that had allowed the girls to volunteer in the Special Needs program.  The official reason was that there were too many children volunteering for such a small group; but the teacher had let slip that there was too much of an issue between the two girls.  A meeting with the school administration had assured us that Punkgirl was not at fault, and she was issued an apology for the comment.

2.  She was already taking 2 advanced classes--English and Social Studies, which required loads of extra work.

3.  Math was not her strong suit.  She was doing well in it because it was at a nice, comfortable pace, and she was a perfectionist.  If I moved her, would she be so stressed about potentially getting a B that I would be kicking myself?

     Two sentences caught my ear, and they settled the issue for me.  "We would have to move her social studies slot." 
     More changes for my routine-thriving tween.  
     "And you know, there will be the added benefit of not being in the same class as J."

     Wait a minute.  Rewind to last week, before my meeting with the administration, where the Vice Principal--much to his later chagrin--suggested we move MY daughter so they wouldn't be in the same class, and I made him understand instantly that I wasn't moving my daughter when she wasn't the one causing the problem.

     I decided to talk it over with Punkgirl.  As I suspected, she did not want to move from her usual Social Studies AND Math classes. I feel like we challenge our children a lot, and while in some cases it is a great thing, I just think in this case it is too much.  I plan to call the school with my decision today...but my question is, knowing what you now know, would you hold your child back from the more challenging class? 

(Previously posted on BlogHer as "Would You Hold Your Child Back?")

1 comment:

  1. My son is in a gifted school and I constantly monitor if the accelerated pace is causing him stress. I think it's good for kids to be appropriately challenged, but not drowning. I know for myself, I had to drop a few advanced classes in Junior high because I struggled so much that it ate all my joy. I think you were wise to let her set her own pace -it's not like she's a slacker!