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
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
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.