Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Phrase I Dislike the Most

I will have some really good conversations with parents about how their son/daughter is doing in math during the course of a semester.  However, there is one phrase that I hear at least once a semester.... and I REALLY dislike hearing it.   It is when a parents says "I was never good at math either..."   Do people really think that math genes are hereditary?   You don't often hear people tell someone that their child can't read because "I don't know how to read either."   Why do people feel it is acceptable to say that they are bad at math?   I think that by saying that you are poor at math you have now told your child that it is okay that they are struggling with math.  A more positive approach would be to say that "I too struggled with math, but I know it is important to work really hard, ask for help, and not give up as these are important skills to have."  I don't like it when a parents sloughs off their child's struggles because they couldn't do it either.  That is not acceptable!  

I read a really good blog post about a positive way parents can approach math with their children.  You can read it here.   I really like the suggestion to have parents ask their child to tutor them in math.  I think that this would be a fabulous way to get to the deep understanding of an outcome.  If a student can explain the outcome and teach someone else they have a solid understanding of what is going on.

I would like to work on communicating with parents the importance of hard work and persistence.  I understand that some parts are going to be difficult, and everyone does not learn at the same PACE, but it doesn't mean you CAN'T ever learn it!   Let's not allow students an out to learning!


  1. For the last 3 years this has become part of my Back-to-School Night talk with parents. I say it in closing, asking them to please NOT say this to their kids. And asking their kids to tutor them is a good idea. No excuses. Thanks, Carey.

  2. I like the idea of including it in the back to school talks. We have a meet the teacher night and I'm going to add it to my agenda! Thanks Fawn!

  3. Yeah, quite frankly the phrase is bullshit! I've never had the pleasure of hearing that comment in a parent-teacher conference, but I'd imagine I wouldn't have a kind response. Still professional of course. Kudos to you planning to address that on Open House night. Probably the smarter thing to do, than spaz out at a meeting. Lol...

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