Article written for School Newsletter:
Math & School & Life
Help Students Avoid Negativity
Student: “I hate school; math is just too hard. I can’t ever get it.”
Parent: “Don’t worry about it; I never understood math either.”
This is an example of an all too common exchange with students and adults. Now if you have heard about my math classes I often admit that the exact skill we are learning is not going to appear in some sort of “Real-Life” test - but I also quickly point out the skills of learning, processing and problem-solving are the skills we need, and math class is where we practice!
These “Habits of Mind” are at the heart of creating resilient, lifelong learners who can attack problems in the world and workplace - but it starts with changing the exchange about tough subjects, tough days and tough events!
Everyone can be successful in school and life, it is simply persistence! We simply need for students to continually strive to do their best! So try rephrase the above interaction:
“I hate school; math is just too hard. I can’t get it.”
“Just keep working. Everyone just learns at differents speeds. You’ll get it, it just takes a bit more work and that’s okay.”
“I hate school! Mr. Anderson just goes too fast during class!.”
“Just keep working. Just talk with him maybe before school or during a study hall.”
“I hate school, it is just too _____”
“Just keep working. Just talk with your teacher - I am sure there is way to go forward.”
We - parents, teachers and community members - are all creating young adults ready for our world. The great thing for a student is we give multiple chances, an opportunity to stumble, show persistence, then succeed. We only need to encourage them not to give up! Help them keep their fire burning for learning and participating. And keep encouraging our students to have empathy for others, too!
I am extremely excited to have the students back September 5th!