When you say you hate math

Math isn’t serving you. But anyways, it’s not about the math.

Photo by Arthur Savary

When you say you hate math, what you mean is math makes you feel stupid.

Why does anyone like math? Or any subject? Because it makes you feel smart. It makes you feel powerful. It’s enough of a challenge to be interesting, so that when you do well, it feels like you’ve really done something and you’re special. 

Every kid likes to learn. In fact, all they want is to learn. The disengaged ones just haven’t had learning go well for them lately, or maybe ever.

You can change that. It takes persistence, but you can chip away at the cold shoulder they’re giving you, and give them an opportunity to feel smart again.

The real secret of teaching, the real artistry of it, is making the learning just hard enough: just hard enough that it is a stretch for their little brains, but not so hard that they grow too frustrated and give up. If they haven’t had success recently, you need to make the barrier to entry low. 

Everyone loves a class of motivated, engaged learners. But don’t forget about the deep fulfillment that comes from igniting that love of learning in someone. Don’t forget how it feels to change a life.