No. of Recommendations: 32
InParadise wrote:

...particularly frustrated with bright kids who refuse to work, and are reaping the respective grades that reflect their negative attitudes.

Amphian wrote:

...and to get the brighter students to explain things to those who were further behind.

I just wanted to point out that it is instructors with these kinds of attitudes who force bright students to really hate the educational system.

All those wonderful standardized tests we took in grammar school placed me in the 99th percentile across the boards year after year. They put me in the "Gifted and Talented" program and gave me all kinds of extra goodies to attend - college courses, take the SAT's in 7th grade, workshops, etc.

These things were all great, but life is the regular classroom was pure misery. Not only was I expected to go as slow as the lesson plans provided, but if I was ahead, the teachers actually expected me to help them do their job by assisting other students. They were happy to have me do their work, but no sign of splitting that paycheck. You want me to tutor somebody? Pay me.

I hoped things would get better in high school, because the frustration level was unbearable. Well, they didn't get any better. My AP Biology course freshman year was torture. I had taken a college level marine biology course in the 8th grade that was far more comprehensive than high school biology. I certainly received no credit for it, and I had no desire to dissect earthworms and frogs when I had already done the same to a dog shark.

There were bright spots, of course. My sophomore year computer programming teacher realized that I was way ahead of the curve in his class, so he allowed me to spend my class time proof reading and debugging the program he was writing for the masters course he was taking at night. I think it was my only A+ that year, and only did one actual class assignment - what should have been the final one in the first week.

Thank God for the drama club and classes like video production and film study. At least they didn't force me to interrupt my plan of reading all of Heinlein's and Rand's novels with a side trip to analyze "The Crucible" (I've always hated Arthur Miller's work).

Once I got to junior year of high school, I ditched the academic track altogether. It was far too boring. I dropped to four regular classes per day and took a co-operative education class. I went to work in the afternoons to complete enough credits to graduate high school. DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) made my last two years of high school bearable.

Of course my parents insisted that I take the SAT's (again) in high school. To appease them, I took them once. The high school principal was none too pleased to be handing me an Academic Excellence Award for having the second highest scores in my graduating class in the same semester in which I flunked English Lit. I went through four years of high school hardly ever completing a single piece of homework becuase doing so served no purpose for me, only for the teachers.

Sometimes the destination is far more important than the journey, especially when you have already made the journey before.

I know it's not easy for teachers to deal with the variety of students they find in their classes, and it must be difficult to deal with a student who could pass the final exam on the first day of class, but these kids need special treatment. Challenge them or leave them alone. Please don't confuse frustration and boredom with an attitude problem. And don't ask them to help do your job. It's insulting.

Jim
Wishing they had CLEP exams for all levels of education
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