My afternoon class is going to challenge me – to win them over – to change their attitude toward math. One of the first comments from a student – “I’m going to cry.”
“But why?” I asked.
“I’m bad at math. I’ve been bad at math since 5th grade.”
I replied, “Oh, now my heart is crying.” The student looks at me just a bit crazy. “Because you believe that about yourself. It makes me sad. Will you be open enough to give me a chance to change your mind? your attitude?”
She says, “If you promise to help me.”
I asked, “Are you willing to think? Beecause I don’t believe in mathy-people and non-mathy people. I only believe there are those who are willing to think and those not willing to think.”
She smiled and said yes. High fives.
Later in the class, I returned to her comment that made me sad – because I don’t want any of you to believe you are bad at math. I turned to her and said, Repeat after me. I am an awesome math student.” She did. We repeated it a couple of more times.
This group is going to challenge me. But I believe they just need an opportunity to share their point of view.
One of their responses on the name tent… I really wish I could understand math the way other people do…
I left school today with an urgency, a fire I have not felt in a while. I hope I can give them opportunities that will let them feel successful and change their minds…