Thursday, February 26, 2009

White and Nerdy

Well, I didn't go to SING. Instead, I gave the tickets to MaryAnn who sent her dear husband Chris with their precious 5 year old daughter Caroline to watch the singing and dancing. I can't wait to hear how Caroline's date night with her dad went! I know that will be a wonderful memory for their family. Chaselyn is feeling much better today. She's back to eating on her normal schedule and actually stayed awake for most of the evening! We went to El Chico's for dinner to support Sight for Sierra. We got together with most of our life group and had some fantastic conversation over some good food. It was a great night with Stanton, friends, and Chaselyn.
One of the more interesting conversations came up toward the end of dinner. Jenny, one of the LG members and a 2nd grade teacher was talking about having to deal with benchmark exams and having no recess and all the messes in the schools. Then Stantonio asked what kinds of math things her kids learned. We discussed how some of her second graders couldn't find pages in their text books because they didn't know number order. They didn't undrstand that page 52 would be a little after page 30 and not back near page 110. Oh, the heartbreak! I can't imagine being 7 years old and not knowing how to count.It makes me think that I may send my kids to private schools. I mean if the teacher has to spend the time to help other students find the right page, my kids are missing out on some valuable learning time. Then Ben, Jenny's husband made the same comment that I've been thinking for years...I think kids don't like math because their teachers don't like math. Many elementary school teachers dread having to teach math, which in itself would be fine, but then they purpetuate their hate into young minds by sharing their ill feelings with the students. I saw it in my education classes during my undergrad. (Warning: I'm about to get very stereotypical here.) These cute little sorority girls who loved kids and had the kindest souls, would ask me why I thought I wanted to teach math. "It's so hard" "I have never been good at math" and my biggest pet peeve "I'm not a math person". These types of statements are allowed and not at all questioned. I've never heard someone say "I'm just not an english person". It just doesn't work. It's perfectly acceptable to not be a math person. Math is so concrete. 2+2=4 will always be true. Throughout elementary school there is generally one answer to each question. Its not arbitrary or subjective, there are rules all you have to do is follow them. I understand that not everyone's brain is wired the same, but I refuse to believe that most people can't grasp the basic logic of math. I'm not at all artistic. But I do hold a deep appreciation for those with the artistic flair. I would so love to be able to make a beautiful painting or really understand music. I've actually heard elementary school teachers (and Jenny can back me up) who said something to the effect of "I don't want to teach above 3rd grade, because I can't do the math." Come on!! I want my kid to learn from somebody who can take her to the next level if she can understand it. I don't want the teachers knowledge (or lack there of)to hinder Chaselyn's learning. I don't think thats too much to ask.

Ok, I'll get of my soap box now. I do want to close by saying that I know there are many good teachers out there and that unfortunately due to state demands and such, they don't truly get their chance to shine. I am very appreciative of many of my math teachers who made me feel like it was ok to like math. Now I'm proud to be White and Nerdy!


  1. This made me smile because I could imagine you at your lap top ranting. Being in high school I know exactly what you mean. I have thought about this many times when I was deciding on what I want to be when I grow up. A high school math teacher, as I've seen first hand, has to deal with a lot of excuses from those who aren't "math people" and it isn't fair to the rest of the class.

  2. God bless math. The last few years before my mom retired, she would show flash cards with multiplication problems when she called roll. The student would let her know he/she was there by giving her the answer. We're talking about sophomores--regular and honors geometry. And many couldn't do it. Whaaaa?! Many had never learned because they'd been allowed to use calculators (coincidentally, that was the "c word" in our house).