Everyone is gifted in some way. I have always believed that God put a specialty in all of us, something we are very good at doing or being.
Is one person’s gifting more important than another’s?
I think not, though often in the field of education it would appear so.
As I sit and grade essays written in preparation for our state writing test, I see all levels of language capability. On the one extreme, I grade an essay written by a seventh grader who could do tenth grade work, and on the other extreme, I grade one that couldn’t buy a vowel on Wheel of Fortune. The amazing thing is that the guy who struggles with stringing two words together, can take apart a truck motor and put it back together perfectly. He talks to me about it. I couldn’t do what he does. Another who struggles with writing can and does raise animals for the meat market at the ripe old age of thirteen. Yes, he has his own business.
Another seventh grader knows how to soothe a crying child, and what is healthy for the child to have as a snack. Another one knows the difference between archeology and paleontology, but struggles to tell why one president gave a speech a certain way, while another president handled a similar situation differently.
Is one student’s gifting to be valued more than another’s? I say, No!
Is every student destined for college? Again, a loud No! Some will go to vocational schools, others to technical schools. Some will open a business right out of high school. Why? Because they are gifted.
While I encourage every student to do his or her best, I will not act like the student who writes circles around other students is better than those who don’t write well. I hope the linguistically-gifted student understands that. And I hope that each student will recognize his or her gifting, whatever it is, as something to be thankful for and develop as they mature. We need mechanics, electricians, day-care owners, archeologists, and meat farmers!
And I will continue to teach writing skills. We need writers, too.