My kid is smart but he's not doing well in school

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My kid is smart but he's not doing well in school

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So your child is not doing well in school. And you're worried about it and you don't know how to deal with that. What's Pluralism's approach to that? I've long said that it's not how smart you are, it's how you're smart. Everyone is 100% smart. We fill in the graph in different ways in terms of self-knowledge, in terms of how somebody might see us. But together you get to 100% smart. If you're thinking of only a few limited ways, then you're restricting the way to measure somebody's smartness. You're restricting the genius that lies in each of us. If your child is not doing well, then you get into the more traditional way of looking at a deficit model. The deficit model of education says, what's wrong with a child, and how are we going to fix them? That's not the way we approach things. If we're trying to help a child be the best version of themselves and the information they're getting all the time is you're not good at this, you're not good at this, you're not good at this, then we're not building out their genius. We're deflating them. We're deflating their ego. We're deflating their whole sense of purpose. We're losing out on the value of what they could be contributing to society. So if you're going to be thinking about the best version of yourself, then you have to be thinking about, I'm 100% smart. Will Rogers said that in a different way. He said, everybody is ignorant only in different subjects. But if the two subjects you measure are language arts and math and you're not at the top of your class in one of those two areas, then you're thought of as your child is struggling. Your child is struggling in school. It doesn't have to be that way. There's a better way of looking at that because everyone is 100% smart. One last thing I want to say about that is how then does that get translated in a school? The way that works at the school that I run is a requirement that I have of teachers one month into the school year is to write for themselves and to write for me what they value, admire, and cherish about each and every one of their students. So before they get into the piece about evaluating them according to common standards, they have to write what they value, admire, and cherish about each child. And that then becomes the framework which is really much more like what a good parent does in looking at their child. My child is wonderful. Yeah, they have these needs. But they don't lose the overall picture. They still cherish them. And every teacher needs to cherish all of their students in the same way.

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Joel Pelcyger

Head of School

Joel Pelcyger is the Founder and Head of PS1 Pluralistic School, an elementary school for grades K-6. PS1 was founded in 1971 and is a family-oriented, independent, and non-profit school located in the heart of Santa Monica, CA.

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