The young man sat and listened to the math teacher explain the geometric concepts that were new to the ninth grade experience. He had always been a boy interested in math. His bathroom reader in PreK was a game of figuring out which number was on the page. “What is the number he would say?” Was is five hundred eighty five or another like one thousand two hundred and twelve? He would point, give his guesses, and go on to another number.
Math came easy for him until about the seventh grade, and then it was time to learn more than just sixty to seventy percent of what he was learning in his mostly pre-algebra class. The numbers and new formulas didn’t make as much sense to him as they used to and his parents couldn’t explain it well enough. In this well meaning age of technology, he had new instructors, online ones that were useful even if they were not the preferred way of learning. It didn’t seem necessary for him to need a tutor that early on in school. Technology became his new way of learning that year. The online resources helped him like homework helpers. He saw his grades improve not tremendously, but as an example, before getting D’s on a test now he actually understood most of the concepts and had raised his D’s to more solid C’s. He had learned to teach himself concepts that could not be explained to him by other means.
The following year, his learning experience seemed better sought at a private school as the teaching environment would facilitate more one on one instruction especially in his developing areas of mathematics. Coming into class the first day, he was greeted by the principal and several teachers who wanted to know more about him. We learned that day conveniently that he would need to come back for……you guessed it, a math test! The math test and the use of a calculator that day began to rebuild not only his interest but confidence in math all over again. He placed well for his studies that year in math and benefited from a smaller class size of around ten students. This year his teacher offered help for students that were having difficulty and other ways to improve his grade throughout the year. Mostly C’s in math the previous year were now B’s.
Geometry now holds it’s own keys to several mysteries and hidden mazes to be unlocked. The classroom size has gotten larger, the need for more you tube learning is on the increase again, but he is not afraid or inexperienced with a challenge. At the end of a semester final, the need to find a tutor became evident, and fortunately, he found one at the start of the second semester. Sometimes you think that what looks like it will get more comprehensible for you does not, and a timely intervention keeps you from drowning.