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I can only hope that our lives will improve over the next 8 years. My family has been hit hard by the economy. The President does not have absolute power and I am afraid everyone is a little naive if we think President Obama can make everything all better. I do hope that this current administration will work to cure some of our domestic problems. I am a high school science teacher. I see what is the future of our country. I have taught for 17 years and my students today are so different than 17 years ago. They are different because their world is different. From poverty to gangs I have seen bright young people destroyed physically and emotionally by the issues they face. We need to stop paying lip service to education and truely invest in our future by meeting our children's needs. Education needs an overhaul. Gangs need to be wiped from the face of the earth. If we provide a solid education and positive outlet to young people the situation will take care of itself. It won't happen overnight, but I truely believe it will happen. I encourage you to get involved with our youth. There are some great young people out there, some overtly and others in the shadows. Many of our children have no direction. You have the power to change kids. I get discouraged sometimes. I have been hurt more than once but I won't give up. Perhaps one of the young people you reach will stand before this Great Nation one day and usher in a new era!!! Thanks for the opportunity to share. Peace and Love! Robert "Byrdman" Byrd

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Nathan says, "I'm currently a junior in high school and going back to the second grade I was identified as being....."gifted and talented".....take that to mean whatever you want it to."

We can tell by the hat you're wearing...

Ah, the gifted child issue. Here's the deal on that. Truly gifted students will learn no matter what on their own time and not be held back. If it takes half the time for you to pick up what you need to know in class, rather than being bored, you should be paying attention to human interactions and communications, and if possible, having the teacher let you help teach. The rest of your life, you're going to be teaching and communicating with folks not as sharp as you to get your points across, get projects approved, get financing, get raises, get elected, make sales, get promoted, etc. all by people not as smart as you. Better to learn this young rather than discover this lesson the hard way after many frustrating years. Here's the mantra I try to follow in various aspects of life, even on the wording in posts: "It's better to be effective than right."

If you really want to get anything done in this world based on your ideas, intelligence and skills, there's nothing more important than learning effective communications with people not as smart as you. Those middle of the pack students the teacher is addressing may not be at your level now. But there's a good chance many of those middle level folks several years older than you will be your bosses or have some power over your well being in the long run. If you run off and spend too much time with the other geniuses in the ivory tower (Mensa), they'll be the only ones who can understand your humor.
Ahhhhhhh.........we don't have to go and get mean.....and as far as the hat goes.....doesn't everyone like to have fun? Well.....at least most of us? Learning what we need.....just what is that? Who decides what it is each of us "needs" to know? Has that job been appointed to you? If so.....congratulations! You're really going to have your work cut out for you! I help tutor (teach).....both in and out of class. My mother teaches "special ed" classes of nearly all levels with a specialty in severe and profoundly handicapped, and since my school finishes up more than an hour before hers does, and both schools share the same piece of property, I spend the last part of my day helping in her class more days than not. I experience human interactions from high to low levels on a daily basis. I would argue that it's best to be effective AND right....rather than choosing one or the other. I wasn't putting anyone of ANY level down, as determination will take you far.....always getting back up and trying again.....never quitting....THAT truly will lead to success more times than not. I'm no genius by any means, with which I'm sure you can relate, I was only putting in my two cents worth about what I see as a problem with the educational system we now have. This is NOT.....I repeat.....NOT.....a put down of anyone....just a statement of fact in my hometown. I am not speaking out for or against immigration. Over the past several years the non-english or english as a second language speaking population of my city has grown to approximately 30-35 percent of it's total population. These kids are GREAT....and most of them are trying VERY hard....but for most, there is NO help at home as mom and dad just aren't able.....so it has fallen upon the teachers in our area to go way above and beyond to help in any and every way they can. So going back to a point I was trying to make earlier.....about teaching to the middle.....is the middle the same place it was 20 years ago? No.....at least not around here. Hence my comments above.
Whoa, Nathan! You're taking some of this the wrong way. Obviously I still need work on communicating better. It was all meant to be helpful from someone who's been down a similar path before. The hat comment was a joke aimed at the middle, not someone of your level. I forgot the little smiley face after it. ;-)

The comment about "need to know" was simply whatever topic in the curriculum the teacher was teaching that day that you might learn faster than others.

Effective and right are not always compatible and it takes experience and wisdom to learn the difference, especially in the area of relationships, which you'll discover shortly if you haven't already. ;-)

Society is mostly about addressing, supporting and helping the middle. The smartest will mostly be left to enhance their own path of learning and achievement whether that's "right" or wrong. Society (not me) has determined that's a more "effective" approach overall.
I still would take the hat comment as a good natured slam.....not necessarily a joke per se. But I can easily live with either! (hahaha)

As far as need to know....again....who's to decide? Maybe I SHOULD know more about some topics.....and perhaps less about others.

Effective and right may or may not always be compatible.....but if you stray too far.....it's neither.....it's more manipulative.

OUR society is mostly about addressing the middle, but many others are not.
Byrdman.....GREAT topic by the way! I'd LOVE to sit in on one of your classes! PLEASE continue the path you're on and don't ever get dismayed!
Never thought I'd say it this way but being more effective in life is about learning what's necessary, saying things in the correct way and making better choices. Ultimately, it's all about manipulation to your advantage. It's just that manipulation has negative connotations if you've cheated in the process to advance (such as some on Wall Street). If you can't manipulate fairly and effectively, (think Tom Sawyer showing others how much fun it is to paint the fence), you will struggle and wonder why you never got where you were aiming.
Chuck.....I DO appreciate what you're saying, and it probably IS the youth in me, but to me things are still black and white, right or wrong, however you want to say it. In time I'll probably look at it all much the same way as you've described, but to me.....for now.....manipulation is still a 4 letter word! ;-)
Thanks Nathan. I appreciate the encouragement and your comments. Most of my frustration comes from the system, but I won't let it beat me. When all is said and done, I love what I do.

Nathan said:
Byrdman.....GREAT topic by the way! I'd LOVE to sit in on one of your classes! PLEASE continue the path you're on and don't ever get dismayed!
Byrdman.....I believe my mom feels pretty much the same way you do.....even with the levels she teaches. There are soooooooooo many hoops that teachers have to jump through anymore.....my mom says it pretty much this way....."I love my job....now....if they'd just let me do it." Her kids are tested in the same way, with the same tests, to meet the same standards as are "normal" kids. And her kids scores on these tests count towards the average scores just the same way as other students test scores. If they were capable of this then there would be no need for the types of classes she teaches. My point is.....what we're doing now, and have been doing for the past generation or two, no longer works, and DRASTIC changes may be needed.

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