Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dang, I hate math...I hate teaching even more.

I found this post that I wrote in 2013 and kept in my drafts but never published.  It's funny how you can look back at situations several years down the road and have such a different perspective.  I thought I'd post this one today:

"I hate math. This is not a good thing.  I home-school my two daughters.  I have to teach them math.  Lots of math. I tell myself that this is a necessary and positive thing and yet, there it is...I still hate math. 

Tonight, I started a math review course online with my daughter who is a senior this year.  We're trying desperately to get ready for another college entrance exam.  The first one didn't go so well and I totally blame myself for this fact.  I had her work through various online courses throughout high school and yet, when it came to the math ones...we both blanched and pushed them to the sidelines.  She has excelled in English and Science and History, but, well...yeah.  Math. It has defied the odds, because of me. I would start these courses with her and try to guide her or advise her and then flashbacks to Mr. Lehman's algebra class would haunt me!  Or my 10th grade geometry teacher (I've thankfully forgotten his name) will flash into my mind.  The orange walls, the open classrooms, the carpet...yeah--I'm a child of the "open classroom" of the 70's.  No wonder I never learned anything--I was too busy listening in on what was going on in the next classroom or staring in-between the partitions at the latest cute boy.  It's a wonder I made it through any class at all in those years, let alone, get into college and beyond.  But, I'm getting beyond myself.  My point isn't about me or my past.  It's about my fear of math--or more specifically, a fear of inadequacy.  I feel that I don't measure up to the teachers that my daughter could have had or would have had if I had decided on other options throughout the years.  I find myself second guessing my decision to home-school in the first place and yet...I know that for us this was the correct decision for the situation. My daughter's both are very anxious and have school phobias that I will go further into in my next post.  I guess what I am saying and/or feeling right now is that, yes--I hate math--I hate many things in my life, but because they are necessary at this time, they are totally do-able.  Like math, I figure them out.  I put the problems in my mind and figure them out.  My answers might not be the logical ones that most mathematicians will come up with , but in my imagined inadequacy, I have still been able to teach and guide.  My daughter's have learned and continue to learn.  The world is their classroom and I, humbled, am their teacher, with or without math skills.  I will always hate math, but it is my hope to not let them know that and to open the doors to things that I never quite mastered, but always just "did"....."

So yeah, an update...that high school senior did "graduate" (see my other posts) and went on to college to study pre-physical therapy (yup...home schooled and all) and is still studying with anticipated graduation of 2016 or '17.  My younger daughter enters high school in the fall, something I can't even comprehend.  She has persevered through many bouts of depression and other issues.  Ever onward we go.

As a mom, yes, I'm filled with feelings of inadequacy, but I also have started to trust my instincts and know that when I look back, I might just find that I actually did something right...