Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't try this at home, or the office, or......



When I was in the 7th Grade, I took a test for Duke University's Talent Identification Program, or TIP. Here is the point of the test, according to the website:

By taking advanced above level testing(at least two years above a student's current grade placement) through Duke TIP's talent search, gifted students and their families gain a far better understanding of where the student stands in relation to his/her gifted peers and what level of educational challenge is appropriate.

At the time I took the test, it looked at two distinct areas of academic achievement Reading/English skills and Mathematics. My math ability had been below average since about the third grade and I am not sure I was even up to average grade level in math at the time I took the test. I have always been well above average in my reading and English skills and I am usually a good test taker. Because of my language arts abilities, I scored exceptionally high on the language portion which gave me a high score on the test.

Unfortunately, our school only had one advanced class that they put everyone in that scored highly on the test. It was a mathematics class. So, for some God only knows why reason, I found myself in first year Algebra with all the smarty, nerdy kids when the previous year I was barely keeping up in math.

They passed me, and the next year, threw me into Geometry with the same kids. I have no idea why I passed that class when I could barely do a three step proof half way through the school year. By the end of the year, I was clever enough to figure out that I wasn't quite ready for higher math and convinced the Consumer Math teacher to let me slide into his class the following year.

Consumer math was the sort where they put all the "I am dumb and could care less about this math stuff" kids and taught them how to tie their shoes, mathematically speaking. We learned to do things like adding up prices at a fictional grocery store, balancing checkbooks and changing our grades in the teachers grade book when he wasn't looking. I shined like a star in the heavens in that class.

Math was the thorn in my flesh throughout High School. I was in all the English and A.P. English classes and Advanced Speech and Government and all the classes that I thought were fun, but in with the dummies and lower classmen trying to relearn the basics of Algebra as a Senior. I think I could have done alright and learned it much better if I had learned it at a pace that was more suited to my level.

Here is the "Don't try this at home, or the office, or......" part:

Too often, I have seen someone passed on to certain positions or promoted or given jobs based on their performance in areas that have nothing to do with the new position they are given. Granted, when people do well at a certain thing, they are probably the sort of people that will do their best to do well in any area. But, sometimes they just can't.

Just because someone is very good at certain aspects of their job, it does not mean they are ready to be a very good supervisor. Just because someone is very god at one job, it doesn't mean they will shine in a completely different job. Maybe they eventually will be ready, or maybe that are better off focusing on what they are good at and being the best in that area, as opposed to someone who merely squeaks by in an area where they are not good.

1 comment:

rural said...

*nods head* Mmmmm hmmmm.