One, let me just say I truly respect teachers. Like, way more than they will ever know. Two, I am totally NOT cut out to be a teacher in any way, shape, or form. Thank heaven I changed my major in college. I mean, I originally majored in elementary education. There is just NO WAY I could do that job without going insane.
The thing about me is that I have no patience.
What? You already know this about me? I still amaze myself at how very little patience I really have, that's how bad it is.
So I'm sitting at the table with Hayley tonight trying to help her with her math homework. First of all, I am not a math person. Well, I am not a geometry/calculus person. I AM a math person, as in regular math and most algebra. I can whip out addition and subtraction usually in a nano-second. People that cannot add, subtact, or multiply on the fly usually drive me batty. But I mean, why do you need to do those things anymore? Isn't there an app for that?
So anyway, I'm helping Hayley with her simple subtraction homework. The question is, what is 17-8? She rolls her eyes up, starts looking for the magic answer in the blank space behind her eyeball, and says "8?".
Ummmm. Patience over.
So I try - very hard I might add- to teach her how 17-10=7, so 17-9 would always be one more. That method wasn't working. I forget that she's only six.
After running through a bazillion equations and her not getting my method I decided to switch gears. Let's draw sticks. Draw 17 sticks. Then "take away" (draw a circle around) 8 sticks. How many sticks are left?
Voila. That was the magic ticket.
We went through several equations and she was getting them mostly right. Except when she drew too many sticks. Or drew her line around too many sticks. I realized though that she really is a visual learner (like I am) and that she is wrestling with "guessing" the answers because she has no visual cues to help her solve the problem.
So I asked her "how do you do this math at school?". And she tells me she has a number line.
A what? I have no idea what a number line is and actually, I'm not sure if that is advantageous to her learning eventually how to do math in her head or not?
I do know one thing for sure. I am totally not cut out to be a teacher. I totally respect the job our teachers do. And I will be handing her off to her Dad when it comes time to do anything beyond addition, subtraction, and multiplication.