Your Child Is Not Special writes J.P. Fugler, a speech and debate teacher in Texas. The straight A’s mean nothing.
He had a perfect GPA once because he avoided classes that might be difficult. When he got a 70 in the required keyboarding class — his family didn’t have a computer at home — he asked the teacher if he could come in early or late to practice.
Every day for six weeks, he practiced before and after school. “I went from being the slowest typist in the class to the fastest,” Fugler writes.”My grade skyrocketed to a 100.”
That doesn’t happen today. Blame for a low grade “is shifting from the student to the teacher,” he writes.
Parents think their special child deserves success. Hard work is for those other kids who aren’t gifted.
Flugler requires freshmen to study Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative and understand Greek philosophy.
For the first time in their lives, some struggle in my classroom. Encountering a new feeling of inadequacy, they panic. Then, panic turns to blame. There is no introspection or attempt to change behaviors that led to failure. Parents take up the fight.
Children can fail “now or later,” writes Fluger. Now is better. Later, the stakes will be higher.