Ask Yourself Why


      A common complaint from parents is that they don't know how to help their child with their math because they "learned it differently". This comment alone makes me realize how poorly math was taught in the past. The math has not changed. What the parents are really saying is "I never understood the concepts at a deep level so I don't know how to help my child." This isn't the parents fault, and I never think bad of worried parents. However, this is a fault of the old system.

     With all that said, the majority of teachers were educated with the old math system. So I ask, do we understand the pure mathematics of what we teach? Are their concepts that we struggle with understanding? Now remember, understanding the mathematics of a concept does not mean you have memorized the algorithm. Understanding the math means you know why, and you can explain or even prove the concept mathematically. This understanding is imperative to teaching every level of mathematics. Ask yourself why with everything that you teach. If you don't know why, then take the time to figure out why. Your own level of understanding will reflect in your students.
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