Thursday, April 12, 2007

An Average Straight A Student

Doodle attends a school where more than two thirds of the kids work above grade level. Doodle is not one of them. While she brought home a perfect report card this week with all As in the core subjects and Os in the special enrichment activities, she is at grade level in both math and reading, the two areas where grade level is assessed. Like the kids in Lake Wobegon, most of Doodle's gaggle of friends are above average (and are upper middle class with parents who are lawyers, engineers, doctors, scientists, or journalists). I've been told that working at grade level in our school district would mean being above grade level elsewhere, so these above average kids are pretty exceptional. It sometimes bothers Doodle that the vast majority of her friends are in an advanced math class, leading her to think that she isn't smart, which of course isn't true. She is at the top of her game in the grade level class but would likely struggle with the above grade level group. When her confidence level dips, the worrywart side of her comes out, her brain freezes, and I spend a lot of time building her up. This happened last year when she moved to the advanced level math class for a marking period. If only Doodle had the self confidence of a superhero (the picture is from our trip to Disney World last August).

Doodle is a hard worker and a focused student, so I know she will always succeed as long as her confidence level doesn't dip. I'm toying with the idea of some math tutoring over the summer so that Doodle can join her friends in the advanced class in the fall, but I'm not sure if I should mess with what is working for her.

And does she need to be good at everything? Her self esteem is boosted by her musicality and her writing abilities. Her teacher often tells her what a talented writer she is, and she enjoys spending free time writing stories and poetry. One of her poems will be in the new Love Without Boundaries book, which will release later this year. Hey, maybe she needs her own blog instead of math tutoring.

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