In the beginning I was scared about teaching elementary math because I thought I would never understand math the way students do now. After weeks of learning the conceptual way, I have to say I am finally understanding and I more confident about teaching elementary math. When I was in elementary school, I was taught standard algorithms and the answer just was because that was the way to do it. I always thought there was just one way to add, subtract, multiply, etc., but that is not the case at all. I did not know this going into this class because I was completely caught off guard with all the manipulatives students do now.
I could feel myself starting to sweat because I knew the other kids were judging me. The other two boys that were in my group laughed and said “Do you even know how to read?” At that very instant I knew that I would never get better at reading and I was always going to be the odd one out at school. I was afraid of going back to school after what happened to me on the first week of this new school. Mrs. Hattershide (my teacher) said that I would have to be in another class to get extra help with reading and writing until I was told I didn’t need it anymore. This “extra class” was called an IEP, which means Individuated Education Program.
I don’t consider myself to be particularly good at math, though I don’t think I’m exactly bad at it either. Growing up, I had a complicated relationship with math that I was never all that confident about. It always seemed as if the moment I understood one concept and had finally discovered how to determine the correct solution to the problem in front of me, another set of obstacles with a new list of rules were presented for me to learn all over again. When I was younger and I was learning things such as simple multiplication or division, I was always the last one in the class to grasp the concept of it while everyone else was already performing the necessary actions needed to solve the problems in their head. For quite a while, I was the
Over the years I’ve learned to be proud of myself when it comes to math because it is a hard subject and a B is still excellent. That hasn’t always been the case though. I remember staying after classes in Elementary school to get help from a teacher because I couldn’t get the material. I remember the countless days in my teacher’s classroom going over math trying to wrap my head around something others perceived to be so simple yet so complex in my mind. At a young age, my mindset was “I hate math and math hates me so why do I even try”.
I and my parents had a big fight about the grades that I had and the school even had us sat in the parent center to reconcile our problem with a psychologist. After the talk between my parent, the psychologist, and me, my parents seems changed, they don’t restrain me anymore like before. Even though I still thought that education is not important, but I started working hard to make up all the classes that I failed to get my high school diploma because I realized the hope that they put on me and I don’t want them to be disappointed again. During my senior year of high school, I did not only take six classes, but also working on a program called Cyber High to retake all my failed classes with high grades, and also take extra class to average up my GPA in order to meet graduate requirements.
My first mistake had to do with attitude. Attitudes inside of me consisted of apathy, lethargic, and unwillingness. Following an unchallenging freshman year and a relaxing summer, I hardly say that I was prepared for my first AP class. I knew expectations in AP classes were high because they’re college level introductory courses. My teacher that year was known as one of the “hardest” math teachers on campus.
The particular student who always turns in their homework on time begins to stop; according to one student, “my parents asked me why I had failed to produce any homework despite having sat at my desk for several hours” (Shields 43). This information indicates the student seems lazy or does not understand the work given, however the problem with the student is the emotions did not match up to a state to concentrate enough to finish a task. The other issue is that the student may not understand the problem of the mental illness. Grades begin to alternate in two different directions. The student who brought back great grades in their report card has begun to show results out of the ordinary, which is the sense of failing classes, “a first semester of As and one B and then Cs and one D for the second semester that person would probably say they were two different people” (47).
I don’t think they ever had a chance to get to know him well. He doesn’t really give a good first impression; he barely does his work and teachers often call my house complaining about his disruptive behavior. When we transferred him out of PS. 130 [our local elementary school], it was because teachers just passed him to the next grade to get rid of him. We didn’t want him to fail, but we wanted someone to teach him discipline, besides my parents of course.
I remember the teacher calling my parents one day to set up a conference about what strategies they could use at school and home to help me grasp the contents of both reading and writing. At that point I was then diagnosed with a learning disability in both reading and writing as well as mathematics. At the end of my first grade year the teacher and principal advised my parent to hold me back into the first grade or otherwise I would fail the second grade due to lack of reading and writing skills, So like most caring parents would do, mine chose to hold me back to see if I would improve on reading as well as writing. It was extremely hard for me because at this age I was being made fun of for not being like the other students. My second year in the first grade began, my new teacher had set me up with a resource
In connection with Mondays, which is my toughest day of the week, my first class was Math; my most hated subject. As I soon arrived in class, to my advantage, the class still hadn't begun. I quickly found a seat at the front of the class because people always told me “learners always sit in the front”. My first glimpse of this friend was, quiet, polite, and an exchange student! Yes, my soon- to -be -friend was an exchange student.