Monday, March 17, 2008

Too Good?

Both Pippi and Harry enjoy being able to do things above grade level. They like reading things that their class mates might find too difficult; they like it that writing assignments are easy and not a chore (well sometimes a chore). But there is a downside to being advanced - as they both found out recently.

First Harry's teacher told me that the editors of the school district literary magazine had doubts that Harry had written the story he submitted himself (he totally had - in fact that was the story he told Pippi she could say "wow" at the end of reading) and his teacher knew it and was going to straighten the situation out.

Then today, Pippi came home from school because the librarian accused her of copying her report directly out of the encyclopedia. Now, mind you, the librarian did not produce said encyclopedia and show her where her words were supposedly copied from. She just made the accusation. Pippi roundly defended herself. She had used several sources, taken notes, written her paper from the notes and had organized it chronologically (it was about an explorer) although apparently the librarian wanted it organized in some other manner. She had a list of resources she used. And in fact, Pippi tells me, the encyclopedia entry was only about a paragraph long and she ended up with a three page paper. The librarian finally let her keep her paper as is - but I'm not sure she ever told Pippi she believed her.

So why did she think Pippi had copied her paper? I'm guessing because it was a very well written paper (I've read things my daughter has written, and it's not your typical fifth grade stuff.)

My kids strive to do a little more, a little better. It's frustrating that along the way, instead of being praised, they are being accused. Will this teach them to not do their best the next time around? Hopefully not. But unfortunately it is a lesson they might take away with them.


Anne K said...

Is this the same librarian who a few years ago wouldn't let Pippi take books out above her grade level? Congrats to both Pippi and Harry on there exceptional work!

PJ Hoover said...

Wow, what a weird, disturbing thing.

kkolshorn said...

I was thinking the exact same thing Mom. I hope said librarian will be getting a piece of your mind. Gee, I winder why charter schools and homeschooling have taken off like they have. This is also why there is now such a push to have being gifted considered as being Special Ed with IEPs. At least Harry's teacher defended him.

Christine M said...

This is not the same librarian who wouldn't let her take out 2nd grade level books in kindergarten.

We're going to hold off saying anything until the paper comes back. If there is any kind of comment on there regarding copying, we'll definitely talk to her. We're taking a wait and see approach right now. I'm not sure if that's best of not.