Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Remembering Middle School Math (that's consonance!)

I'm having a lot of fun at the B&G Club these days--playing games with kids and entertaining them in general. I helped out a handful of them with homework for around an hour yesterday, and boy was that a challenge. Do you remember how to write the alphabet, uppercase and lowercase, in cursive? It was hard, but I got it. Nowhere near as challenging to me as figuring out how to do matrices again. A matrix, not the movie (hence no capitalization), involves, at least in this case, two numbers inside brackets separated from another two numbers inside brackets, and you either divide, multiply, add or subtract the product of the two brackets once you either complete the equation inside the brackets, or solve for x, which was in this case, the second number in each of the series. Whew!

Good thing I am going to be an English teacher and not a middle school math teacher. I'd need some serious review to be able to teach this sort of material on a day-to-day basis. Math always came easy to me until around 9th or 10th grade when variables started wiggling their way into the mix. I think that's when I became mad at math and abandoned it in favor of my true love, English. Mixing English and math just seemed a bit convoluted to me at the time, I suppose. But hey, the world does need more math teachers, I wonder if with some review I could learn all the concepts over again and could eventually teach middle school math at some point: as a tutor, summer school teacher, or even full-time teacher if a severe need ever arose. It's important to teach kids the essentials, and all I keep hearing is that there are no math and science teachers to "teach kids the essentials." Maybe I'll have a second life as one of them years and years from now--hey, someone has to teach the next generation, right?

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