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I can confirm that. When i was child, every teacher said to me and my parents that i am so gifted, so smart. And i thought i am so smart that i don't need to spend so much time on school like others. So i missed on school a lot. In high school there were classes on which i was less than 50% throughout the semester. And it was ok, i needed only 2 last weeks to pass all the tests. In last year i did the same, again i needed to do tests because i had low grades and needed to pass whole semester on that tests. But this time there was a teacher of my native language (literature etc) and she told me "I know you will pass the test but you was more than 50% of time absent on my lessons i will not let you take test" and i was shocked. Why? Why she didn't let me take the test, i would pass it. And then headmaster of my school told my parents that "lot of kids are coming every day to school, they learn, they do homework for every class, they are hard workers and then there is your son, gifted, smarter than the rest, he only needs 2 last weeks to learn and pass the tests, he is not coming to class, he is not doing homework, how he looks in contrast to other students? What example he is giving to them? That you do not need to work hard, you only need to be gifted and smart and you can go by. There is no justice in this, we can't make that kind of example, showing that you do not need to come to school, make homework and still get promoted to next year like all those kids that come every day to school, are hard workers, learn, do homework". They didn't promoted me to next class, i needed to repeat it. That was the most valuable lesson i had in that school.

EDIT: What i wrote about lesson was not meant in a good way. As someone said in comments i was punished for being different - that was the lesson.

The lesson is that if you are too different people will go out of their way to punish you for it?

Yeah, I think it's a horrible lesson and a shame that too many people in powerful positions get away with it.

Yes, you should actually learn the material. No, you should not be punished for being gifted. The school should have recognized what they were dealing with, given you the test the second week and promoted you. Then perhaps you could have been challenged.

This whole "everyone has to go at the same speed" thing is what destroys gifted people.

You could have gone to college early, who knows maybe learned a lot and discovered a treatment or even a cure for many types of cancer or be the next great inventor.

Instead this school taught you to be mediocre and fit it.

What this school did to you and what it does to others is a travesty.

As a society we are destroying our most gifted people, simply so people "feel better"

That's a bullshit lesson though. You were held back because you made the system and the other kids look bad.

Turning up every day would have wasted your time, because you would have been bored and frustrated.

A good school would have forced you to turn up but would have let you run ahead at your own pace - or maybe moved you to an environment for the gifted.

Talent is rare and useful. Gifted kids should have the same boundaries and support as everyone else, but work challenges should be stretched in line with their abilities.

The lesson being: be normal and normal only, otherwise you will be made so, through intoleration, discrimination and assimilation. Public school system is for average people, and I don't mean anything hostile saying that. You are, on the base of your story here, above average in your intellectual capacity, and don't need to go through the chores others need to go through to succeed your class. There's nothing unjust about that, and your gift. Just like some people are more attractive, you're smarter.

I've been through similar situations (tho my breaking points have been more often and exaggerated) and quite quickly I've learnt to quack like an average guy, and to walk like an average guy, but to not be one, in school. I've always been a step ahead from my peers in learning quickly and in investing minimum time to get maximum output from my studies. So I just went to school and acted like the next guy, and did whatever I wanted (whatever being programming, literature, philosophy, etc.) in my spare time.

There is no justice in this, as the headmaster of your school said to your parents, some are just naturally more inclined to apprehension. Furthermore, some like doing it more than others. But sometimes educational staff feel the need to normalise the outliers, because they believe that the rest will believe that them themselves are idiots and won't engage. So they confine those outliers, the smarter ones, to normality, to the average, sacrificing them for the rest. Not only are their assumptions wrong, but the effects may be really bad on the students, dissuading them from exploiting their gifts in the future.

Some people are better at learning. Others are better at other things. Do we break the noses of very good-looking students in the school because they have unjust advantage in getting into relationships? Do we somehow shorten taller students because they score more baskets that the others? Do we deflate the breasts of more bustier students because other girls may get jealous of them? I'm sorry if I sounded a bit harsh and immodest. I don't claim that some are better overall than others, but they are better in some treats. But in situations like in your anectodes and in many experiences I myself had as an outlier, I've seen that this sort of practice leads to a missionary of reducing everybody to the lowest common denominator with regards to educational abilities, rendering public schools futile.

No need to apologize, you are 100% right.

Sometimes one needs to apologise for objective points to not be called 'uncivil'...

So you've been brought to norm, too.

The lesson they taught you is politically palatable to a lot of people, but it strikes me as gross. That it was the most valuable thing you learned in that school underlies just how pointless the entire exercise really was.

Not sure. The lesson for others that was being promoted by his behaviour was certainly bad: "That you do not need to work hard, you only need to be gifted and smart and you can go by." Now, it's not really his fault that he is not being challenged, so the school messed up, at least partly, here. They fixed the problem for the other students, but not for him. I think the point made in another comment, that he should have been made to attend classes, but given actual challenging work that matched his abilities, is correct.

At school I was probably similar, and thinking back basically an awful child, for much of the same reasons. But at least in some of my classes (maths, for example) they recognised that just following the standard course at the same pace as everyone else was a waste of my time, and allowed me to work on the course material for the next years classes, which was at least a little more interesting, and some kind of extra-curricular maths problems as part of an inter-school competition that were much more interesting.

OT - the maths problems didn't always hold my interest, and when I couldn't be bothered doing the actual work of proving something rigorously, I instead wrote a brute-force solver in PASCAL, that produced the correct solution. Then I had the challenging task of persuading people that this was actually an acceptable method of solving a problem. I can't remember if I succeeded, but I think I gave the example of the computer proof of the four-colour theorem that I had read about in New Scientist.

Agreed. This "lesson" is disgusting.

I've never understood the reasoning that administration and teachers put forth that the smart and "gifted" need to set an example for the other kids. A student is at school to be taught, not to set an example and teach the other kids. Every child has a right to learn. Teaching is what the teachers are for. If you were slacking off and still passing with minimal effort, they should have accelerated you to the point you could no longer do that without working at it. That would have better taught you the value of work in addition to not wasting years of your life. In my opinion, it's a crime that schools waste so much of the lives of intelligent children for no better reason than "but that's where a child of such age SHOULD be."

That is a fucked up school full of tools.

There was a gifted kid in my third grade. He was moved up one grade straight to 5, and again to 7 to finally match rest of the class.

While the response that GP got was wrong on my levels, what was done to that gifted kid was no favor either.

Anecdote warning: I've seen very few kids who skip more than a grade (if that) who have the ability to relate and function among peers well. They're not generally going to be accepted as a peer at that age by kids a couple-few years older than them - and for many, school is where that skill is learned.

Much of the research states otherwise. While there are certainly instances of your anecdote that do occur, the rule seems to be that higher achieving students function better with those at their level than with those beneath them. And, even then, the problem is temporary. The majority of those accelerated kids, when interviewed as adults indicated that they wish they had been accelerated soon or more, and that any social issues were temporary and fleeting.

That seems like a problem on another level.

The point of schools is not to teach you how to pass tests. It's to give you knowledge that sticks for life. Studying intensively for two weeks will let you (or mostly anybody, really) pass a test, but usually you will have forgotten most of it after a year. Attending class will give you delayed repetition of the material over a long period of time, which will help you remember.

How many nba players do you think spent years working on layups and nothing else? The push themselves. They work on what they're not good at yet, and in doing that, improve at the things they already are.

Spending years going to classes that do nothing but teach you things you have already mastered is not practice. It's torture. To improve retention and mastery you keep using the skills you've attained to greater effect. The compounding is what matters. Move too slowly and people shut down, tune out, and ignore the material. That's when material is forgotten.

Im curious to know how you could simply not go to school? Where I live it's compulsory. Smart or dumb, it doesn't matter, you go to school. I'm having a hard time understanding why they would just allow you to stay home in high school.

Did your parents agree with this way of schooling? That you were too smart to go to school? That's the only way I could see this happening. Did you study when you weren't at school, or did you simply chill out till test time?

In the US, at least, homeschooling is generally allowed. Some states don't have any requirements at all on who, how, and when a student can be homeschooled as long as a parent signs the right form. Some school districts let homeschoolers take a class or two without being fully enrolled.

For some students and some schools, being in school is actively bad for them, even worse than a fairly useless homeschooling experience. Some schools are just that bad.

The hard part is getting into college. You can take a test (the GED) that is meant to certify that you have an equivalent to a highschool education. Still, without a transcript, you will have to lean a lot on your resume (jobs, volunteering, internships) and personal statement.

at school I was always lazy and selected where to put in effort. If everyone in a math class was stuck on some problem that was when I was paid attention and listened and solved it. now I work as a programmer and feel like one my biggest advantages over everybody else is knowing what to be interested in and what to code.



I wanted to pass but there was this old guy with cane on the bridge saying "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

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