Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Young, Gifted, Black, and Underrepresented

Journey to Gifted and Talented

My son has always been a typical, precocious little boy. I was a first-time parent, a single parent no less, with an extremely energetic child. The thought of giftedness or lack thereof never entered my mind. I just knew that I had to find activities to keep him busy; whether it was sports, music, computer games, or Thomas and Friends. Something. Anything that would keep him occupied. He was also the kid with the late birthday, so he had a year of Pre-K4 and two years of Pre-K5. By the time he entered Kindergarten, I had tried to have him tested to enter first grade. He tested reasonably high; however, he was considered socially immature. So Kindergarten it was. 

He loved it. I was frustrated.

I was frustrated because the students were given a list of 60 sight words to know by the end of the year, he knew 52 by the end of the first six weeks, and all 60 by the end of the first semester. His teacher acknowledged that he was advanced. However, with 20+ students, it was difficult to differentiate instruction for him. Fortunately, I was a teacher and had access to specific resources to continue to challenge him. Kindergarten was over. Hello, first grade! The students had taken a beginning of the year (BOY) assessment, and his teacher met with me to inform me that according to the BOY assessment, my son read on a beginning second-grade level. Ugh! I just thought, “Here we go again.” If they had let me skip him, he would’ve been in the second grade. And his educational career continued that way until third grade. 

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