Poll: How Do You Feel About Math?

In my classroom, I find that a lot of a student’s grade is determined on their attitude about math in general.  If they are anxious and nervous the minute they walk through the door then usually they close their mind to the possibility of them learning math.  Many students shut their brain down and feel defeated before even walking through the door.  It is my job, as their teacher to overcome this feeling.  I will admit that it isn’t the easiest task to accomplish.  It is probably my toughest job as a math teacher.  What kind of math student were you?  What did you think about math when you walked in the classroom door?

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26 thoughts on “Poll: How Do You Feel About Math?

  1. Since reaching adulthood, I’ve been exposed to math in new ways and would actually like to better understand the history behind the theories and formulas. This wasn’t the case when I was younger and had to pass a test on a set amount of material every few weeks.

  2. I voted for “Math and I don’t get along.” But I do recognize its importance, and when my kids were very young I made sure that they both got a head start and extra work in math. They never ended up loving math, but they did both get through AP calculus in high school, which is waaaaay further than I ever got.

    • I admire your efforts with your children. So many parents dismiss upper level math because they don’t use it themselves. Congrats to your kids! Completing AP Calculus is not a small feat!

  3. I never liked math in high school. I struggled…thought that I wasn’t smart enough. Then, when I went to college I had an excellent algebra teacher. She taught me how to “do” math. I went on to take several advanced math courses with no problem. I think it takes the right teacher.

  4. To say that math and I didn’t get along was an understatement. Honestly, I did very poorly in fourth-grade math, and I have awful memories of my dad and I attempting to do problems together (lots of yelling, crying, and pointing). Numbers just didn’t make sense to me until I was in high school (then, I shockingly accelerated thanks to one great teacher). Even though I wrinkle my nose at math, I know how important and necessary it is (especially proportions and percentages, I use those things A TON!).

    • Awww, usually a bad experience in math leads you to dislike the subject as an adult. Many parents do the same as your Dad. I always tell my students that I want their homework to be stress free. I tell the parents to stop the assignment if they have spent more than an hour on it. They just need to send in a note and then I give the student another chance the next day.

  5. I was always OK with Math but never really understood it until I took a course about Mathematical thought through History – then it all came together for me and I realized that numbers and formulas did not come from thin air to torture us students but evolved from a real need to solve a physical problem.

  6. I was actually good at math in school. It was like solving puzzles, but the math I learned in school was never applied to real life. I now find I am only so-so in math. I am also lazy in that part of my brain and there always seems to be someone else wants to do the math-and I let them.

  7. Although I have a huge appreciation for math, and it was one of my strongest suits in school, I have a love-hate relationship with the fact that THERE IS ONLY ONE ANSWER! My right brain hates that. A lot! –dm

  8. My only issue with math is how rarely I use the higher-level stuff I learned in high school. Junior year I was taking Pre-calc/trig and dropped it after a week. I switched to statistics and am still so glad I did. I use what I learned there WAY more than I ever would have use the stuff from calculus!

    • I always tell my students that it depends on what you choose to do in your adult life that dictates whether or not you use calculus. Hey, I never thought I would use it and look at me, I am a MATH teacher! 😉

  9. I barely passed Math 11 in High School. Looking back I think it was mostly because of its perceived lack of relevance for me. I didn’t think I was ever going to need it in my life so it wasn’t “worth my time”. Clearly it takes a good teacher to turn this attitude around and present ways of making the concepts relevant to students.

    -Barry

    • So often students believe that advanced math is irrelevant. I think that some teachers have stopped giving our students real world problems because they require critical thinking and teachers don’t want to be bothered by the amount of time it takes to teach that type of problem. It is really a shame because that is the link to showing students how you can use that math in real life.

  10. Now, I will admit that I went to college and went down the path with the least amount of math. I did have a bad attitude about it. That being said, most of the teachers that I loved when I first started teaching, were all in the math department. lol. It can’t be a coincidence! I always told them that if I had had them in class, maybe I would have been more motivated to learn. I think that sometimes if the student has a bad attitude about the subject, having a good relationship with the teacher can help, truly.

    • You are right! I have had a few students come through that absolutely hated math but really liked me. They ended up doing awesome in the class. I think part of that reason is because they didn’t want to disappoint me and always felt comfortable with me asking questions. With that said, I have had my share of students who weren’t too fond of their lovely math teacher, haha!!

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