Q:

Our 8-year-old son has been tested by the school and found to be a gifted student. For the first few grades, he had veteran teachers and was in combined classes K-1 and 2-3, where he thrived. Now he is in a single third-grade class and does not feel challenged except for the time spent in three enrichment classes.

His very young classroom teacher does not think it is fair for my son and other gifted students to work ahead because the rest of the students would feel inferior. As a consequence, he is quite bored with the regular classroom work. How can I communicate to the teacher the need for more advanced work for my child? -- Not Challenged

A:

You probably won't be able to change this teacher's mind about the appropriate way to meet the needs of all the students. To be fair about this situation, your son is already in three challenging classes. This is a far greater opportunity than most gifted children have. To find more challenges for him, you will need to explain the situation to the principal and ask for his or her input on how the school can challenge your child even more. The answer could be skipping a grade or going to a higher grade for some subjects. There is also the possibility that the principal or a mentor will work with this teacher to change her attitude.