I always make a point to let my fifth graders know that I am transparent. Then I have to actually explain that, no, I am not see-through, but rather I am always open and honest with them about the reality of their situations.
By the time they’re in fifth grade, kids know who’s in the smart math class and who’s in the “not so smart” math class. Isn’t it better to be open and honest about it? And, for the record, we do not use those labels for the actual names of the math classes. Should we tell students in the lower math class that they can work really hard and get into the high math class? I don’t think so.
I believe we need to look at each child’s abilities. If it’s not realistic that the child will be in the high math class, then why encourage him to shoot for such a impossible goal? Why not encourage him to get an A in his current math class? Why not celebrate the realistic goals instead of keeping kids on an equal playing field?
Life isn’t equal. We all know that. Some of us are book smart and some of us are street smart. Some of us are born academics and some of us prefer technical, hands-on activities. It’s the way of life. Denying it is denying our true selves.
My husband and I went and saw Carlos Mencia this past weekend and his material is all about honesty. Should we tell every kid that he can grow up to e president? Are we really helping that kid achieve and celebrate his own goals if we aren’t honest? By all means, encourage your child to be whatever he or she wants to be, but by the time a child is in middle school, we adults kind of know the path said child is taking.
If you can’t read then you probably aren’t going to be president. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful and well-adjusted adult with a family, meaningful and fulfilling career, and have lots of money.
We need to start being real with kids. Yes, be kind about it. Don’t tell the child he’s in the stupid math class. But be honest. Kids need to hear the truth. We try so hard to hide it from them that it’s not doing any of us any good. Instead we are left with children who feel like failures and adults who can’t understand why our society feels so entitled.
Seriously… Go see Carlos Mencia. He nails it.
Top: The Limited (last weekend so it’s still in stores)
Pants: The Limited skinny denim (on clearance rack)
Accessories: arm party mix by Groopdealz and my own creations