Pretend to be Nice

Teacher-Moms, on the edge…

Do we HAVE to do that?

Sometimes we all do things we don’t want to.  I always encourage my students to never give up…muscle through…you’ll make it.  I never sugar coat it though, I remind them often that it’s going to be hard and it’s going to suck, but it will get better.  And I’m happy to say that the second they believe me their math aptitude starts to rise.  But what if it’s me that doesn’t want to do it, and by it I mean logarithms.  Those really awful things that no one talks about or use for that matter, I mean do you even know what a log is?

log

I am grateful for the internet and graphing calculators because I’m no math genius.  I think my success in the classroom stems from my own struggles and deep seeded frustration with the subject.  I need to be honest – my mother was a math teacher for 42 years and I was the last kid in fourth grade to master all of my times tables.  She had to get one of her friends in the math department to tutor me in high school because one or both of us would have ended up dead at the kitchen table during homework time.  I’m not a math major because I couldn’t pass calculus II in college.  So how did I become such a passionate math teacher?  Because I don’t want people to hate it.  If I can do it – anyone can do it!  Except for logs.

My teaching strategy has always been to lead the way but not always show the way.  I learned this the hard way being humbled by 7th and 8th graders that are much faster at computation then me and are quick to point out your silly mistakes and refer to your ability in the most un-pc way possible.  My classroom can be summed up from the mouths of babes, [during a formal evaluation when the administrator asked a student how things were going]  “she forgets stuff all the time, but we help her and she tells funny stories about math”.  (What really happened was…I don’t like spoon feeding them information so I would say things like, “remind me what we did yesterday”, “ I forgot how to do this – who can help me”, and “are you sure” were always in my lessons and it didn’t make the kids feel threatened or inferior.)

So when my tutoree came to me and showed me his homework I had to mentally talk myself off the ledge and silently ask if it was too late to feign illness – although throwing up was not out of the question.  But I took my own advice and put on my big girl panties and decided it could only hurt for a week or two and they would move on to the next topic.  Don’t get me wrong – I love math, and I will always consider myself a math teacher, but the old adage:  if you don’t use it you lose it becomes more and more clear the older I get.  So we applied the process (not the hard part), we did the computation (again – not hard because I love me some graphing calculator), and we tackled the word problems.

fiery death

It is, after all, the most important part.  If I can’t convince you why you are learning it then why learn it?  But it’s scary – especially since I can’t run down the hall to my much smarter nerdy cohorts and check my math or even peek at the answer key.  But we didn’t give up!  And I’m pretty sure I’m way more excited to see graded homework than any of my tutorees and secretly do the happy dance when we did them correctly!

I’m happy to report that I didn’t die, the two weeks are over, and I’m anxiously awaiting to see how I did on the test…I mean how HE did on HIS test.

Advertisements

2 comments on “Do we HAVE to do that?

  1. valerieremymilora
    April 9, 2014

    I love your attitude about this Michele! I’m not a bog fan of math either and so grateful that my girls turn to friends or teachers for help because I don’t think I’d be much good to the… In all things, though, I agree that keeping a positive attitude and pushing through the tough parts is the only way to go. I suspect I would have loved having you as my teacher 😉

  2. maanneilaganlopez
    April 9, 2014

    Oh my math!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on March 31, 2014 by in Well, aren't you Smart! and tagged , , , , , .
TeacherPop

| A blog for new teachers, hosted by Teach For America.

DFW Writers Workshop

Writers helping writers since 1977

The Social Norma

"I don't cut the ribbon at the opening of markets. I don't stand next to the mayor. Hit your baseball into my yard, and you'll never see it again." - Tom Waits

autismthoughts

My experiences with autism, depression, and life

LisaListed

The best things in life aren't things at all

The Zero-Waste Chef

No packaging. Nothing processed. No waste.

Properly Ridiculous

Mostly Pleasant [Possibly Offensive] Perceptions

Officially Gluten Free

Have your cake and eat it too, without feeling sick.

Chaos Girl & the Real World

{A Slightly Disjointed Life}

Tales from the Mama Duck

Raising Young Adults...Family...Faith

anntogether

AM Roselli's art & writing site

User Generated Education

Education as it should be - passion-based.

Sass & Balderdash

Always tongue in cheek, often egg on face.

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

coolcookstyle

Find it, cook it, make it your own.

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

NextDraft

The Day's Most Fascinating News

TeacherPop

| A blog for new teachers, hosted by Teach For America.

DFW Writers Workshop

Writers helping writers since 1977

The Social Norma

"I don't cut the ribbon at the opening of markets. I don't stand next to the mayor. Hit your baseball into my yard, and you'll never see it again." - Tom Waits

autismthoughts

My experiences with autism, depression, and life

LisaListed

The best things in life aren't things at all

The Zero-Waste Chef

No packaging. Nothing processed. No waste.

Properly Ridiculous

Mostly Pleasant [Possibly Offensive] Perceptions

Officially Gluten Free

Have your cake and eat it too, without feeling sick.

Chaos Girl & the Real World

{A Slightly Disjointed Life}

Tales from the Mama Duck

Raising Young Adults...Family...Faith

anntogether

AM Roselli's art & writing site

User Generated Education

Education as it should be - passion-based.

Sass & Balderdash

Always tongue in cheek, often egg on face.

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

coolcookstyle

Find it, cook it, make it your own.

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

NextDraft

The Day's Most Fascinating News

%d bloggers like this: