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Old 06-07-2013, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,608,566 times
Reputation: 46994

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My daughter was First Place winner in state wide young writers contests 2 years in a row. The written stories were printed in a book and she was recognized , along with other winners at a big conference in the state capitol. She never had to read her stories in front of people. She also has won local writing contests.
Yesterday DD graduated from 5th grade. They picked 4 students read essays to the assembled group. She was not one of them. Ok, especially since they printed a poem she wrote to include in the program.
I didn't think too much about it until a teacher stepped up to me after the ceremony and said "Your daughter's essay was best by far but we decided to give some other kids a chance to shine. Anyway she doesn't always speak up very loudly so we were afraid she could not be heard".

DD is shy and it is true she can have a quiet voice but she has never been asked to speak in a microphone. The essay readers spoke into a microphone,. Two were very good but two were horrible. One read so fast it sounded like a foreign language. Nobody had a clue what she wrote. The other kid could not be seen or heard.


I realize this was not really a competition and other kids do well too but don't you think this teacher crossed a line by telling me what she did? And I was pissed that she was not given an opportunity to read her work out loud to others. That is exactly the kind of experience she needs to help her with her shyness. Of course I never said a word to my daughter or really anybody else in the family. I praised her for her poem being published and left it at that. And of course I will not say anything to any teacher about it.

What do you think?
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:13 AM
 
Location: The analog world
15,547 posts, read 8,734,436 times
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I think the teacher's attempt to be diplomatic created an awkward situation for all involved. Sometimes it's better to stay silent than try to explain. That said, if I were in your shoes, I'd let it go.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:18 AM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,790,060 times
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I would mention it to the teacher and just tell her that it was not necessary to tell you why your child was passed over and you think your child reading her work in public would have helped her with her shyness.

I bet she would have done great and not been very shy once she got started. Congratulations to your daughter for her accomplishments, definitely a proud moment.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:23 AM
 
2,779 posts, read 4,494,552 times
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There's s little girl in my son's class who is always picked for everything. She is bright and articulate and very sweet BUT the rest of us would love for our kid to have a chance to be in the spotlight once in a while. I'm definitely not the "trophy for everyone" kind of mom but sometimes it is nice to see what the other kids have learned.

I think that is probably what the teacher was thinking.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:32 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 10,224,033 times
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When you are the best at something, it is good to be humble and allow others to have their turn in the spotlight. She will have more than enough opportunities in the future to "show her stuff".

In the past I have been "the best" at doing various things. I've learned that when you are "not so good" at doing something, everybody likes you, but when you are the best, you become a hated target! People are jealous or want to "bring you down to their level". People can be QUITE nasty when it comes to competitive things!

With that said, maybe the WORST thing for her would have been for the teacher to announce "Here is our two time state winner, etc." Maybe the teacher did her a favor? (So far as the other kids liking her in the future.)

As for the shyness / microphone, they have home karaoke players you could get and she could practice talking in the microphone or singing. Then maybe find some place other than school where she can speak or sing in public?

If not there will be all sorts of future opportunities for that at school in the future.

BTW - Congratulations on her winning 1st place twice! Quite an accomplishment.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
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It's great that she is such a wonderful writer, but it's a 5th grade assembly. Let it go.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,608,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_J View Post
........maybe the WORST thing for her would have been for the teacher to announce "Here is our two time state winner, etc." Maybe the teacher did her a favor? (So far as the other kids liking her in the future.)

As for the shyness / microphone, they have home karaoke players you could get and she could practice talking in the microphone or singing. Then maybe find some place other than school where she can speak or sing in public?

If not there will be all sorts of future opportunities for that at school in the future.

BTW - Congratulations on her winning 1st place twice! Quite an accomplishment.
Excellent point. Never thought of a karaoke player but this just might work and thank you for your kind comments. Yes we are extremely proud of her. She was born in Vietnam under difficult circumstances and adopted by us at 4 months. We are so blessed.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:00 AM
 
7,233 posts, read 12,642,972 times
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She could've said her comment about letting the other kids have their moment apologetically. But the second portion of it definitely was unnecessary. This goes to show that even teachers can be completely clueless. Crossing the line would be the teacher being snotty about your daughter's public speaking skills. Is that the tone you got from the teacher?

Your daughter will get plenty of opportunities in the future to improve her public speaking skills. And there are things you can do now to help that along (buy a karaoke machine, encourage your daughter to participate in a play or a debate team, et. c).
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:02 AM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,319,241 times
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Many writers find it impossible to read their own writing out loud. It's torture.

Don't push her. If she has a talent for writing, and is shy, and finds that Mom has decided she should also be reading her stories to an audience she could just turn off the writing tap.

Trust me on this one. I know a LOT of writers. Successful writers. Including one who writes for a successful TV show who can barely sit through the first reading when he hears his words out loud for the first time.

Kids don't have to do everything well. If she's got a gift let her be the quiet writer in a corner if that's her thing. Some other kid in her class can find he has the gift of gab in front of a mic and turn into tomorrow's Ryan Seacrest. (Who lives in a VERY nice house.) Personally I'm glad the teacher tried to spread things out a little.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:52 AM
 
3,084 posts, read 6,463,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
Many writers find it impossible to read their own writing out loud. It's torture.

Don't push her. If she has a talent for writing, and is shy, and finds that Mom has decided she should also be reading her stories to an audience she could just turn off the writing tap.

Trust me on this one. I know a LOT of writers. Successful writers. Including one who writes for a successful TV show who can barely sit through the first reading when he hears his words out loud for the first time.

Kids don't have to do everything well. If she's got a gift let her be the quiet writer in a corner if that's her thing. Some other kid in her class can find he has the gift of gab in front of a mic and turn into tomorrow's Ryan Seacrest. (Who lives in a VERY nice house.) Personally I'm glad the teacher tried to spread things out a little.
This. Exactly.

Sadly, way too often parents get really ugly when they feel their child has been slighted and most likely the teacher was trying to ward that feeling off by praising your daughter's writing ability and then wanting you to understand why she chose who she did to read. It sounds as though the teacher was being thoughtful in not forcing your daughter to read her own work publicly, however perhaps she could have worded it better. Most likely the other students regularly speak well in class and just fumbled in front of the parents. It happens. No big deal.

They recognize her work being the best and that is the thing I would take away from this.

Also, there are times that a teacher means well and it creates more problems than ever imagined....I wouldn't let this become one.

For instance.....
Recently a friend of mine went on a major rant on FB and in real life about her son being slighted and how she went off on the school about it and wants to demand changes.....etc.

Well, her son just finished 8th grade and they had an awards assembly. Traditionally, they hand out awards for each subject to a top student chosen to receive the award, not always THE top student, however. Never have they given out the awards based solely on grades, they look at hard work, improvement, conduct, leadership, etc. They start with the core subjects and try to make sure they award different students for each core subject. After they finish with the core subjects they award for other subjects such as art, band, technology etc. Some are given honorable mentions or special recognition etc. So, many students walk out with more than one award.

So. Her son received 2 awards, one core subject and one other. After it was over a teacher told her that her son had "actually earned the award for another core subject" but they didn't want the same person to get them all so they spread it out.

Now my explanation shows how it is not based on grades and how they try to reward for various reasons. But the teacher's explanation indicates he earned it but was not given it, which is not how it is decided. She just created a problem that blew up on her.

If they awarded just based on grades, my daughter would have walked out of 8th grade last year with far more than just the Algebra award and a couple of special awards and people would have been angry that no one else got recognized. It's a double edged sword when it comes to student recognition.
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