19 December 2009

And now about T...

T is in grade ten this year and had to go to his catchment school because his school of choice was full. The school he wanted to attend has a focus on computers and it frustrates him that people he knows aren't taking advantage of those programs. Instead they are taking options like cooking or construction, which are offered at almost any school. He feels that if you aren't going to use the school for what the school focus is (arts, sports, computers, academics) then you should leave and make room for those that want the programs.

Having very little choice in the matter, he accepted this with reasonable grace and signed up for the computer classes offered by his school. The courses he got are Multimedia and Computer Science. I don't know very much about the curriculum for those, just that they involve computers. Well, his teacher specifically requested that I attend the Meet the Teacher night to discuss T. I already knew T was finishing his work early and easily so I was surprised by the request. When I got there with T, the teacher said this was the first time ever that he'd requested a meeting with a parent for a good reason. It turned out that T was so far advanced in class that the teacher wanted to have him write the final exam and then put him in the grade eleven class. So I made sure that T didn't feel pressured or like it's too hard before agreeing to that. He said he was following the grade 11 curriculum out of boredom anyway. Now he's formally in that class with full credits for the grade 10 class.

And he's still ahead of the class. In his latest project, he has to build a website with specific criteria by January and he's already mostly done. In his free time he has made a website for my food shopping list where we can input items, cost of items, food or non food, quantity, and the name of the submitter. Then all I have to do is print it out and take it with me to the store. S has a friend that wants a website store made so S offered for T to help with it. S hasn't discussed it much with the client yet, but T has already got the basic coding for the checkout procedure and other stuff I don't completely understand. T also spends his free time on YouTube watching tutorials on coding and other computer stuff. At this rate T will outgrow the school's computer classes very quickly.

His teacher also said he wants T to sign up for a contest in May. I don't know exactly what the contest is but I know it's with our University's computer department. The contest is usually only open to grade 11 and 12 students, but because T is so far advanced the teacher felt he could accomplish whatever task the contest requires. The prize is an inside look at the computer department and an entrance scholarship to the University.

I don't want T to be bored or frustrated from lack of work, so I'm considering seeing if our local college or University has evening courses that T can take to keep his mind active. But I also don't want T to feel too much pressure or overwhelmed by extra classes. T already is in school full time and has a part time job and post secondary level classes might be just that bit too much. Or it'll fire up his brain and propel him to an early career in computers. And all that might be moot anyway if T doesn't qualify for the classes. He may have to have is grade 12 computer class finished first.

The other neat thing is T's teacher told T about a job opportunity over the summer with the University's computer department. It's called the High School Internship Program and is open to grade 11 and 12 students. They choose students based on grades and interest areas and try to match your internship with an appropriate project. You get paid $1500 for six weeks work (based on a 28 hr week) and are flexible about available dates. I pointed out to T that even though he's in grade 10 he could apply anyway with a reference from his teacher. But again, I don't want to pressure T into something he's not ready for. I want to help T's brain feel full and active but not stretched to the point of breaking, you know?


Chantelle said...

I'm so proud of T! He loves working on computers - when I talked to him, it was just about the same as breathing to him. I'm so happy that he's in the higher grade now.

The summer program would be a fantastic opportunity and I hope he'd want to do that. It would be more fun for him than his job, right? :)

I wonder if there's any chance of transferring to the school he wanted to go to, with his success in these courses?


Anonymous said...

It seems that T is really coming into his own now and it's great to see :)

I hope he considers the summer program as it would be so much more interesting than his current job.

Love, his Grammummum

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

wow that is so extremely cool! computers kick ass! that is something i could definitely see travis making a career out of.

p.s. chantelle, the process for getting into schools of choice was changed in september. students had to apply to the school they wanted, then a certain amount of names was randomly drawn to fill the openings. so the process was partially on merit and partially on chance. i imagine it will be the same next year.