Algebra And Other Hateful Things

I like to watch Wheel Of Fortune…love solving puzzles. Tonight there was a young woman contestant who teaches algebra in middle-school.

There were several things I loved in school…the first of which was history. There were two things, as a kid, I cried over. The first was spelling. Man, this is going to date me. But in grade one I got caught, along with all the other kids, in a pattern change in the teaching techniques for spelling. It was my worst subject. And the more the teacher punished me (she would smack a wooden ruler across the palms of our hands), the worse I became at it. Finally I taught myself and my mother, for years, proudly annouced that I was self-taught when it came to spelling. Typos are another matter, LOL. It came to light several years later that the grade one teacher had a few problems of her own…but we kids suffered for it.

The second thing I hated was algebra. When I hit highschool, that subject hit me right between the eyes. It didn’t go into my brain, ever…I just didn’t get it. I carried it over another year and still didn’t get it. I excelled at English and History but a mathematician I was not.

So I switched electives, which meant I could not go on to university. Ha! Not so. After ten years at working at this and that and being disatisifed, I returned to school and spent two years in college and picked up a number of university diplomas.

In the end, the dreaded algebra didn’t do me in after all. But algebra in middle school. That made me shudder! LOL

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2 Responses to Algebra And Other Hateful Things

  1. Robin Cordrey Ramos says:

    Funny you bring this up. I am an 8th grade Algebra teacher and have many students that feel the same way you did. I too in middle school had not understanding in Algebra but before 7th grade i excelled in math. I believe that the way you feel about your ability has a huge influence on how well you will succeed in anything. In algebra I was told repetedly by my Algebra reached how I would NEVER succeed in Algebra. This added to the inability for my teen brain not comprehending the abstract thought process necessary to fully understand how algebra works and a teacher that could rarely answer why-is -it-done-that-way questions, I truely did fail. But like you persistance paid off. All you need is a little self-confidence, a lot of positive encouragement an

    • JILLMETCALF says:

      And now you teach alebra, Robin! I love your post. Thank you. Teachers can have such a huge influence on children and teens, both positive and negative. And often a negative experience prods one into getting their back up and essentially saying, “I’ll show you!” Which you obviously did. And yes, positive encouragement means everything in building self-confidence.

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