Parents rarely tell us straight out that their son/daughter is a genius, but many of them believe it. Teachers get glimpses of this by the comments we hear. "Johnny says he already knows much of what you are teaching." Or " Sam said the most amazing thing today--I can't believe he is only five." In general parents know their children really well, so why do so many think their children are geniuses when "less than one quarter of one percent" ( http://www.iqtestexperts.com/making-genius.php) of humans are ACTUALLY considered to be geniuses?
I think the answer is simple, children are amazing. The capacity of children to understand their world, learn new information, and produce creative output is astounding. Parents realize this, but sometimes as teachers we can become numb.
When we see forty eleven year olds all day every day we tend to look for commonalities. How can I group these kids, what misunderstandings will this group have, what will allow me as one person to teach all of these kids? We are always looking for "developmental levels" or " problems that kids have every year" but we must remember to take a step back and remember the amazing 'genius' that each individual child has.
These children might not all be technical geniuses, but the fact that they are walking, talking, thinking, and innovating is truly amazing. Parents may not realize that the behavior they see at home really is typical of eight year olds, but they do see how amazing their eight year old truly is. As teachers we can learn from a parents definition of 'genius' and remember how amazing the human child really is.