My son's teacher is stupid!
One of the frequent complains I hear from parents of gifted children is: “the teacher of my child is stupid. She has spelling mistakes / she does not have a good education / she will never be able to understand my smart child” and even “my child can teach her rather than learn from her”. I’ll never forget the lady professor, who told me 10 years ago, when her son was just 6 – even before she met the child’s teacher, that “I’m sure my son can teach his teacher mathematics”. Well, as expected, the child had become an isolated adolescent, with very little communication skills, interested in mathematics, of course, but no different than many hundreds of students who start their academic track while still in high school… Indeed, many teachers, especially elementary school teachers, have not acquired good education, are not particularly clever and their cultural background is not necessarily rich. But telling the child that his teacher is not “good enough” is a symptom of stupidity coming from the parent. Slandering the teacher is similar to getting an own goal. Prospects of raising a child who will be able to obey adult, to be able to obey to the authorities when necessary and even more important – to perceive the fact that sometimes “showing off” your high intelligence is not beneficial become quite limited. To this sad fact another one should be added: what does the parent – who encourages his child to degrade his teacher, sometimes in front of others – wishes to achieve? Does he or she aim to show that they are cleverer than the teacher? Or that the child will learn to think that adults with less-than-maximal IQ’s are to be mocked? Ridiculed? Any parent that thinks this way should be ashamed of themselves as the people who are damaged by such a behavior are their own children. And last but not least: pretending that ALL teachers should be respected for their brains, and their being teachers means they are always right is as false as the one that they are not “good enough” for a gifted child. Parents that do not understand this are far from being gifted, and underestimate their children’s intelligence. Children are able to understand, even when not highly gifted, that people are different from one another; that rules vary according to locations, time, and other circumstances. They know very well that adults who are in charge of them should be obeyed, respected, and unless treat them maliciously – accept their authority. A less-than-myself intelligent teacher might be a very warm person, a man or woman who understands the emotional, social, familial and even physical problems of my child and rejecting her or him is preventing my own son or daughter from developing a good, nurturing relationship. Dr. Hanna DAVID
Hanna David received her PhD, "magna cum laude", from Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München and was a college lecturer in Psychology and literature. Dr. Dav
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