Thursday, November 4, 2010

But....they're smarter than me!

What do you do when your child is smarter than you?

I was a smart kid in school. I always had straight A's until I hit 6th grade. The change from one classroom to changing classes and having a locker, in a locker ROOM, where I had to fight 17 other kids around me for space, AND made it to my bus on time, really messed me up. Then, I got friends, and didn't care.

However, weather or not it showed, I paid attention in class. With the exception of Chemistry and Algebra II, I learned everything they taught us. Then, when I graduated, my mom was sick. My dad was the only one working, my sister and brother were young, and the family didn't have the money for me to go to school. Sure, I could have gotten loans, but it would have been my parents who needed to get the loans, and I couldn't strap them tighter than they already were. Especially, since I had no idea what I wanted to do for sure and if I could even hack it in College. I mean, I wanted to go, but I was realistic when faced with the choice of going to class, or screwing off at the mall, or just sleeping in, I knew what would win out. I was 18 and dumb, but not naive.

Anyway, I got a job. A good one. Moved out (within 15 minutes of home, in case they needed me) and well, life took over. Now, I would love to go to college, even a community college, but I don't have the time, the money, or the patience.

I consider myself smart. I have a good street smarts about me. I'm not as book smart as I used to be, but I love to read and learn. I took my ACT test in High School and scored a 29. Perfect score is 32 or 34. I can't remember, but the fact is, I'm left behind.

My seven year old came home and told me his class just got a Promethean board. Yeah, I had to google it too. His whole class is trying to go paperless. His whole class is taught from this board. All interim and report cards are now online. Each student has an id# which is their user id. Any student, in any class or grade, can go anywhere in the whole entire district, including the public library, or even at home sit down at a computer, log on to the school's network, and do their school work, all homework is listed online, homework papers are in digital form online, you do all your work online and hit submit, and it gets sent to their teacher.

It blows my mind. I know how advanced my school work was compared to when my parents went to school, and yet it still amazes me how much more advanced they are. I honestly don't think his class even has a chalk board. In one way, I am super excited that these kids can learn in ways we never thought possible, and I even wonder if I would have been more compelled to do my homework and pay more attention in class had I gotten to use this technology, but on the other hand, it makes me a little sad that they'll never get the trill of being chosen to clap erasers (or embarrassment, if it's a punishment), or help the teacher out by delivering a message to a classroom down the hall. Or smell the fresh chalk on the first day of school, or try to pay attention those last few weeks while it's so hot and the dust from the board is so thick in the air. Never feel the rush of excitement that you get to use the computers today, or that we get to do math on our slates again! Although, I am sure, they have much cooler stuff to play with now.

The hardest part is when he comes home at looks at me with his 7 year old eyes, confident that because I am older than he, I know everything, then asks me a question that I have no idea the answer to, nor can I make anything up that sounds smart enough to be the truth. Nor, can I understand how he would even think to ask this question in the first place....

I guess that's the school doing it's job. Making the next generation stronger, better, smarter, and faster....

1 comment:

Amander said...

That's an advanced school! We can barely afford to pay teachers, much less a promethean board :)

They started doing online stuff when I was almost graduating high school - it's crazy how the whole world will soon interact through a computer instead of with tangible objects.