“I can’t do math”

Not so long ago I was doing substitute (supply) teaching in a school in Yorkshire,England, and this happened:

“I can’t do math” she said to me.
“Oh yes you can and you will see
that you can do it on your own”.
I showed her how the cryptic code
was just a way of writing.
“The meaning’s there, give it a go,
and try to stop the fighting”.
The tunnel end came into view,
the light was bright and shining.
She did another, all alone,
and smiled with satisfaction.
Then turned to me and said again
“I can’t do math”


1 Comment

Filed under humor, language in math, Uncategorized, verse

One response to ““I can’t do math”

  1. The problem I see with our kids, is that they have this notion that they have to grasp any/every concept immediately. They don’t understand the necessity to figure out something.
    You’re allowed not to know. You’re supposed to work it out. You have to take little steps toward the goal. “I can’t do maths” means “I’m not a human calculator!”

    Learning math is brain training, and it’s hard work. Our students are particularly adverse to hard work. (Was it ever so? Perhaps). Personally, I definitely did not like math. It was not a language that I spoke, but I occasionally have to coach kids through it these days, and I work them through the process as I ask questions, look for instructions, etc. They generally feel much smarter when they figure it out first. 😉

    Helping kids do math is very humbling. Thank heavens for grammar, or I’d feel completely stupid. 🙂

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