Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Think I Can

One of the biggest problems I find with teaching low level classes is that the kids believe that they are stupid. They feel they can't learn so why bother trying. A girl told me today that math has always been her worst subject, she never passes so she feels trying just wastes her time. (The girl is Chinese--so much for the Asian stereotype in math!)

A teacher's job is made harder by the preconceived ideas these kids have about themselves. Before I can get them to learn anything, I have to get them to believe in themselves, to believe that they can, kind of like "The Little Engine That Could" Believing in themselves is half the battle.


Elaine C. said...


My biggest struggle with teaching the kiddos is NOT teaching them the material. It's teaching them to trust themselves (and me!) enough to TRY it.

... then, if I've set them up properly, they succeed. Once they start succeeding, you can't STOP them! (And life is beautiful once again!)

mathman42 said...

My friend at Stuyvesant insists all learn to use an abacus.