I’ve Been Bad at Math Since 5th Grade…


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…


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