So it turns out I’m not that good at math. Maybe it’s because as a homeschooler, I spent much of my childhood avoiding schoolwork rather than practicing. Or maybe it’s because I have not been applying myself fully to my studies. Regardless, I am seeing myself do worse as I climb the mathematical latter. I have never gotten a 4.0 in a math class. Most have floated around a 3.0 or a 3.5. I would say that the reason I do poorly is more likely my lack of diligence and desire to apply myself. Admittedly, I have done very little homework throughout my academic career. As an auditory learner, I would say most of what I learn in school is what is said in a lecture. I will recall more from what my instructors will say than from any other method. Especially if there are anecdotal stories or real world applications included in the lecture. Granted, reading, practicing and all other forms of learning do benefit me. I just simply learn and retain more through listening.
In my calc class I was struck rather hard when while taking a quiz, I could not recall any of the proper concepts for the problems. I was completely lost and resorted to writing down as much chicken scratch as I could while hoping it looked somewhat legible and relatable. I was pretty upset. I expected a 0 and would not have had any hard feelings towards my instructor if he had given that. I know I don’t apply myself fully. This is my problem and no one else’s. If I could become the true master of my motivation and be able to involve myself passionately, I have no doubt that I would be the student raising my hand to present and explain to the class a complicated problem.
One of the things that bothers me most is what I do to my instructors. Granted, not all the instructors out there are effected by a low scoring student, however, most of my math instructors have been extremely kind and empathetic. The ones I have had the pleasure of working with each seemed to have the ability to find the smart but lacking students. I do not wish to go so far as to label myself smart, but I do not believe I am one of those students who doesn’t care about school at all. I would say with a fare amount of confidence that all my math instructors have been, and are, truly wonderful people. It is because of them I have been able to climb a ladder I was never seemingly meant for. It breaks my heart more to see a disheartened instructor look at me before a test with a look of inevitable disappointment.
My girlfriend’s father is an English teacher who I have the honor of knowing. Recently I saw a post about how poorly scoring students effect him. He spoke about the disappointment and feelings of failure towards doing his job. I would just like to say to him:
Mr. _____, you are doing your job. There are just some students who struggle with learning. There is nothing you can do except be there for them. If you base your skill on the pupils who fail you, you will always have disappointments. The mark of a truly great teacher not just one who can connect and recognize students who do well, but also the students who want to do well but don’t try hard enough. So be comforted, for I feel this is where you stand. However, do not withhold too much disappointment. It is in this disappointment you and all other teachers reveal, that pushes myself and people like me, to try harder.