So, I’m talking with CS today, telling him how smart he is, how sensitive he is to the nuances of complex ideas. I continue that he is able to communicate intricacies and observations with facileness and that he is flexible in his thinking and sophisticated in his ability to get between the lines of text. However, I say, he is not pushing himself, not stretching his many gifts; his work is done minimally and quickly, sometimes done carelessly, sometimes not at all. He seems more concerned with his interactions with his friends in class rather than interacting with the material we are exploring. I add that I am especially disappointed because he is not feeding/ growing his many, many talents. I ask him what it would take to light a fire beneath him, what might motivate him to reach his potential.
“Hey Ms. Y.,” he says. “I totally get what you’re saying, but, well, I just don’t want to peak too early.”