Everytime I see this picture posted, I become angry. Especially when it is tagged #education. Can you imagine something similar being posted by teachers about reading? Why do teachers and adults think it is okay to perpetuate the idea that it’s okay to be bad at math? It’s not. And we need to stop the excuses and become better teachers. If you teach math, and you’re not a good math teacher, get better. Stop making excuses.
I definitely feel the need to reblog this. Something that has really been bothering me lately is when people (especially professors) say, “I’m just not a math person.” I hope that when I start teaching math, I am able to convince students that they aren’t “not math people”. Everyone can get something out of math, especially if it’s taught in a way that makes it accessible to students who don’t necessarily thrive in an environment of computations and procedures.
[Too relevant to queue]
Numeracy, like literacy, is a crucial aspect of every single subject area you could possibly think of. It’s not ok for someone to teach with the philosophy, “I’m not a kid person”, yet just as our jobs require we deal with children constantly (and draw positive outcomes from each and every interaction), every lesson we teach children will be imbued with some aspect of numeracy (assumed, or explicit) that will be necessary to succeed.
Oh, and in a sort-of-side-point-but-not-really: If, as a teacher, you can read and interpret your paycheque; you have mathematical ability. If you can do your groceries, and estimate before reaching the register how much you are likely to owe, and whether you will be able to afford that into your budget, you have mathematical ability. Not only that, but you almost certainly have a greater level of ability (not to mention experience) in these matters than many of your students. If you can impart some of this mathematical expertise, skills and values on to your students, you will be doing them a valuable (and necessary) service for their later lives.
Here’s the thing, additionally:
We know that if we tell our students consistently that they are good at something, they will have more confidence, and thus approach the subject differently than if we tell them they are poor at it. Positive feedback gives positive results; negative feedback gives negative results.
It’s similar with ourselves. And if someone thinks their students will never KNOW that they feel this way about math just because they never say it aloud, they are kidding themselves. Their attitude about the subject will permeate the way they approach the subject — their tone, the amount of time and effort with which they approach it, the emphasis they put on the subject’s importance in general for their students.