I was one of the smart kids in my school growing up. I thought I was kinda awesome. When I see the work that Jackson is bringing home in first grade, I feel really dumb. I would have been a slow kid at this school. At best, average.
I read an article about a study not long ago, that I can’t put my hands on now, of course. The upshot of it was this: two kids with similar IQs graduate from different schools. One was the Valedictorian of a crappy school. One was average in a really good school.
Statistically, the Valedictorian is likely to do better in college and career than the average student because even though she was Queen of the Idiots, she is willing to take more risks or try more things because she believes she will succeed. She always has before. The average kid is likely to play it safer, and with lower risk comes lower reward.
There’s nothing in their innate capability that should make them different. The difference is what they think about themselves.
My kid goes to a really good school. I was considered an “advanced” student 30 years ago for what now barely meets the minimum standards at his school. I wasn’t allowed to carry my lunch ticket down the hall until fourth or fifth grade because somewhere between lining up in the classroom and walking into the cafeteria, I would lose it. Every.time.
By contrast, my son copies down his assignments from the board every day, brings home an assignment notebook and returns it each day. Granted the first two weeks of the year were a little rocky, but now he’s got it down.
It’s got me wondering if I really was smart. Charlie has no such worries about these sorts of things.
Me: I couldn’t have done most of the stuff they ask of him.
Charlie: Or maybe you could have, but no one ever asked you to.
Me: I don’t know. Maybe I’m not really all that smart. Maybe I just didn’t know any different.
Charlie: Sure, dear. You’re a complete moron. We were wondering when you were going to figure out that we were lying to you all this time.
Me: I KNEW IT! Hey, maybe you’re not smart either.
Charlie: *walks away shaking his head*
So, just to prove my point, I went to pick my kid up at the wrong time. Seriously, I used to be so much smarter.