What if my "talent" isn't evaluated? What if my "gift" isn't measurable? What if my passion isn't offered, supported, or sponsored at my campus? These are questions that many of our kids may be asking inside, but we just can't tell from our position outside. That's why kids should be able to test their abilities at classes of all levels without having the TAG label.
I've tried to get a student out of my class that had none of the motivation, background, skill, desire, drive, and dare I say mental aptitude to be in one of my pre-ap classes. Many of my students can barely read on level and I thought that this kid surely pulled a fast one or a teacher that didn't care enough to fail him in the past. I was half wrong. I tried to explain this to the counselor because we were BOTH miserable trying to get him across the finish line. The counselor said that a parent conference was required to remove him from the class because you can only move a student up without a parent, not down.
This kid was nice enough but he needed SERIOUS remediation before he could even consider being advanced. I failed this kid. Both as a teacher and in the gradebook. I think about him all the time and wonder if I could have done anything, something, to get him to where he needed to be. I have a lot of ideas, but forcing him to stay in the class and giving him extra work, that he refused to do, to scaffold him to the level he needed to reach didn't work. Neither did building a relationship.