Archive | May 14, 2008

5 Blind Boys of Alabama

As a math teacher, I see a wide range of people, with a wide variety of mathematical and linguistic skills. At the community college, I see the whole gamut of people with their educational handicaps, their strengths and weaknesses. At the end of a term, I am used to all their peculiar quirks and have had 3 months to work on the rough spots and I like to think that they have somewhat learned to work with the problems and I often see improvement. This truly glorious fact, the great reward of teaching is what makes the beginning of the next term such a shock. I find people that can’t multiply, have no idea how to add and subtract fractions, don’t know how to do long division, can’t write English outside of the absolutely stupid “text-speak” that pollutes our linguistic world today and find myself frustrated and tense. Most of the time, I feel that I’m extremely bad at math, even though I have 1.5 master’s degrees in the subject and teach it. My situation, however, is not dire. There’s are. I do my best to make it better and I like to think that I make a difference in someone’s life, even though the shock of reality bites me in the ass more often than I like.

Ramble on…

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