A guest post by Shelly
Throughout elementary, middle and high school, I struggled with math. When I say that I struggled, I mean, I really struggled. I was lucky to get a C. Fast forward to college and math was my subject. I would get A’s or B’s. I don’t know if during my younger years, it was me not focusing or if it was the teachers not doing their job properly. Or maybe it was because college is not free. Maybe the fact that I would have to eventually pay them back scared me straight.
I remember in elementary school (and even in high school), listening to the teachers and honestly not knowing what they were saying. It was like math was a foreign language to me. I wanted some form of tutor or math intervention programs for elementary students, but my parents couldn’t afford it, so I had to do the best I could. I know that some days would be better than others, but for the most part, it was the worst subject for me.
My brother, on the other hand, was a pure genius with anything mathematical. He could tell you the square root of 2,788,987 in two seconds flat. That’s an exaggeration, but he was really good at math. He wasn’t that great in any other subjects, though. He was a lot older than me, so he wasn’t at home a lot when I did my homework. When he was there, he would help me out. Or at least try to help me. He would get a frustrated because I just could not comprehend what he was telling me. When I say it was a foreign language to me, I mean it.
If only we had the internet in the 80’s, I’m sure a lot of students would have done better with their school work. There are tons of online help tools for children now. I know that I definitely would have taken advantage of it. I don’t understand how children now get bad grades. They have all of these wonderful resources that we didn’t have twenty years ago. If I were them, I would utilize them to the fullest. I would never get a failing grade, or anything below a C. I understand that there are some subjects that you just can not understand (math for me), but just apply yourself. Use all of the resources you can. Ask parents, teachers, neighbors, cousins… anybody. Once you’ve tried all of that, then you have tried your best. Good luck with math, kids (and adults)… It’s a tough subject.