Category Archives: education

The “New” way to teach math….

Alright, so here’s the deal. I seriously suck at math. Numbers and I have a love-hate relationship and have apparently since I was a little girl… I mean, I knew my alphabet and recognized words (in both French and English) by the time I was 3, but according to my mom, I couldn’t count to 5. That’s how much my brain just despises numbers.

In high school, I failed math (the most basic math too), forcing me to go to summer school in both grade 10 & 11. Thankfully, we were the last graduating class in Manitoba who were able to graduate without having to take math (let’s just say I graduated from high school 16 years ago in June. You do the math) … but I still took it, and yep, you guessed it, failed that too. Really didn’t help that my teacher for grade 12 smelled like cough syrup and/or booze first thing in the morning. I would just show up to class, and sleep or socialize because from what I remember, he didn’t really teach. Or maybe I was just sleeping throughout his lessons? I can’t remember, my memory is a bit foggy. I’ve tried to avoid math since graduation. I know it’s impossible since I do like cooking and more recently, will be helping my dad out with redoing the kitchen in my house. And well now, it’s impossible for me to avoid since I work in the education system. It’s literally everywhere.

Back when I was in school, the way math was taught was simple. 20+40=60. There, done. Easy peasy. Right? We were taught our multiplication tables, how to do long division, basic money math etc. The first time I saw one of the teachers I work with teach something to a class of grade 5 & 6 kids, my facial expression was basically like this:

One of my coworkers looked at me and laughed, asking me if I understood what the teacher was talking about. I looked at her and said something along the lines of how “everything is confusing” and it “makes no sense to do it this way”. Because to me, it was like someone was trying to explain quantum physics (or something completely ridiculous like that).

In case you’re not a parent with a child in elementary school or aren’t around in the education system, this is how they taught it and how they teach it now:

I don’t understand why the fuck they make you do more work than just finding the simple answer? Why add a bunch more numbers to find “any possible answer” that could equal the actual answer for the original question? Like come on people! Why?!? *pulls hair out, screaming* To me, math is just a bunch of numbers splattered on a page, teasing me because it knows it confuses me to all hell.

I was talking with a friend about this exact situation a couple of weekends ago and she said basically the same thing, it makes no sense. What so ever. I guess call me “old fashioned” but I prefer the way I was taught it. Yah I know I said I could barely count to 5 when I was a kid, but if I was taught this “new” way back when I was in elementary school, I very likely would have made the exact same face as I did a couple of weeks ago.

Math + me = don’t get along. That’s my math.

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