“As he entered public school, he displayed what his teachers called “immature” behavior. “In kindergarten I was told by his teacher, ‘Michael can’t sit still, Michael can’t be quiet, Michael can’t focus,’ ” recalled Ms. Phelps, who was herself a teacher for 22 years. The family had recently moved, and she felt Michael might be frustrated because the kindergarten curriculum he was getting in the new district was similar to the pre-K curriculum in their old district.
“I said, maybe he’s bored,” Ms. Phelps recalled saying to his teacher. “Her comment to me — ‘Oh, he’s not gifted.’ I told her I didn’t say that, and she didn’t like that much. I was a teacher myself so I didn’t challenge her, I just said, ‘What are you going to do to help him?’ ”
She will never forget one teacher’s comment: “This woman says to me, ‘Your son will never be able to focus on anything.’ ”
That is Michael Phelps’ Mom talking about the difficulties of raising an obviously ‘different’ kid in the American public school system.
I have seen this myself. People here are so concerned with teaching everything the same way to everyone that they completely ignore kids who need an extra challenge in some area. When you bring up these things teachers are incredibly defensive. Kids are blamed right away and the first alternative anyone proposes is medication. After all, it is much easier to ‘change’ one person (even if it means messing up your brain) than to change the system.
It’s another sad unintended consequence of allowing the state to control such a crucial part of a person’s life.