Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I am going to participate in Jo-Lynne's (of Musings of a Housewife) carnival this week.
If you haven't heard about it, its not too late to join.
So what have I learned this week?
I have learned that there are many places in which I live my life through insecurity.
Well, it is deep. Almost deep enough that I am not sure I can write about it without typing on forever. But I am going to give it a try.
In fifth grade I was in Mr. Pollard's class.
He didn't like me.
At this point in my young life as a student I had already decided I was terrible in math.
I just didn't get it.
In fifth-grade I had an experience that would start a life-long issue that I am going to spend this year purposefully battling.
In fifth grade Mr. Pollard called me to the board and made me stand there for a very long time, while he belittled me for not knowing what 8x7 was.
After standing there being yelled at in front of my peers, and not being able to think, much less write 56 on the board, he proceeded to tell me that I had wasted his time, and the entire fifth grade class time. Now, he would waste my time; I would spend both recess and lunch writing 8 x 7 = 56 on a piece of paper over and over again.
I do believe that that day, at the age of 10 I decided I would never again waste anybody's time with my incompetence in math. I managed to get through enough math to pass high school and college. How I did it, I do not know.
Currently I am homeschooling a 5th grade boy who is in the trenches with long division. He's getting it, and doing well. But my attitude toward teaching math has been less than desirable. I get irritated (and irritable) because it takes me almost as much time as it takes him to do the math. I have had to break down problems with a pencil and a paper more often than he does. I have had to say, "Sorry Boy, I did that problem wrong. Your answer is correct" so many times it's embarrassing.
You are probably wondering what this has to do with what I have learned, so I will just get to it: I have learned that I been teaching from an attitude of pride and insecurity, rather than teaching from a willing spirit.
I have learned that this attitude toward math doesn't just happen during the school hours either.
I have avoided doing math (without a calculator) in almost every aspect of my life: from eating out with friends at lunch (I make them figure out how to split the bill), to coupon-ing (if it's too complicated I won't sit down and figure it out), to buying a home or car (I make The Mister handle all financial stuff)...I have avoided doing math that I could not do quickly. And I cannot do most math quickly.
I have compensated for a weakness by avoiding the problem instead of facing it; I have been allowing my insecurity to lead my life in this area, which makes me feel like a poser and only leads to more insecurity.
I am amazed at how I have limited myself because I have carried a lie deep within me that has hindered me for over 30 years: That I am not good at math.
The TRUTH is that I have never tried to be good at math. I'd given up long ago.
So what have I learned this week?
I have learned that it will take the power of God to get me over my Math Issues.
I have learned that its OK to relearn math with your fifth grade son.
As a matter of fact, its better this way. He is an amazing study partner.
That is what I learned...