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Maths teacher

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    (Original post by cat_2002_12)
    Okay fair enough I forgot that part. But you clearly had ability and didn't try. There are plenty of kids who try really hard but just cannot progress beyond a certain grade/level
    I don't believe that to be the case. What do you class as trying really hard? I had a little epiphany during my degree where I realised I could understand anything if I put enough effort into learning it. What is effort? Well, in some cases it was reading 10+ different books on a topic, speaking to several different lecturers, asking people on internet forums, asking friends and other students, spending 200+ hours on learning a module. In all cases, when enough hard work had been done understanding was gained. Since starting my PhD, a similar pattern has emerged, except that 200+ hours turns into 1000+ hours and even then there will be big holes in knowledge and understanding.

    If you go through 4 years of school without knowing how to do basic addition and subtraction, you clearly haven't made even a token effort. If you "try really hard" but that "trying really hard" was sitting in front of the TV with your maths book open then that doesn't count, in my opinion.

    And if someone has had basic addition and subtraction explained to them and they still can't do it, then I fear they might have bigger problems in life, such as learning how to dress or feed themselves.
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    (Original post by Mr M)
    Sounds awful but her previous teacher told me to get her to do it like a performing seal. Worryingly this completely innumerate student still attained grade G (supposedly a pass grade) at GCSE.
    That is pretty amazing. I assume she wouldn't be able to do the questions such as "Is 1234 bigger than 1024?" that is bread-and-butter for even foundation level candidates.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    And if someone has had basic addition and subtraction explained to them and they still can't do it, then I fear they might have bigger problems in life, such as learning how to dress or feed themselves.
    You won't be permitted to teach if you don't keep views like these extremely well hidden.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    That is pretty amazing. I assume she wouldn't be able to do the questions such as "Is 1234 bigger than 1024?" that is bread-and-butter for even foundation level candidates.
    No but she could do the "Measure this line" questions. You only need about 12% for a G.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    That is pretty amazing. I assume she wouldn't be able to do the questions such as "Is 1234 bigger than 1024?" that is bread-and-butter for even foundation level candidates.
    People learn in different ways. I have a few pupils who are great at things to do with shape and measure, yet other things like written methods for addition/subtraction elude them.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)

    And if someone has had basic addition and subtraction explained to them and they still can't do it, then I fear they might have bigger problems in life, such as learning how to dress or feed themselves.

    What a revolting viewpoint to have. I would never suggest that if you couldn't do anything in my subject that you were mentally deficient.

    (Original post by Mr M)
    By the time I started my NQT year, I thought I had already encountered some very weak students but I was unprepared for teaching a Year 11 girl who couldn't count beyond 20. She went "... 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 76, 94, 52, 64, 33 ...". I have never really got over the shock!

    Year ELEVEN?! Good grief.

    I do wonder how someone can have such a big problem go undetected for so long.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    And if someone has had basic addition and subtraction explained to them and they still can't do it, then I fear they might have bigger problems in life, such as learning how to dress or feed themselves.
    Firstly that is totally untrue. I know a number of adults who function perfectly well in life but cannot add or subtract at all (and I mean AT ALL). Secondly that is incredibly offensive and I truly truly hope with an attitude like that you never become a teacher. If you were my kids teacher I would do everything in my power to make sure you got sacked
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    (Original post by cat_2002_12)
    Firstly that is totally untrue. I know a number of adults who function perfectly well in life but cannot add or subtract at all (and I mean AT ALL). Secondly that is incredibly offensive and I truly truly hope with an attitude like that you never become a teacher. If you were my kids teacher I would do everything in my power to make sure you got sacked
    lol. Here-in lies the problem with the UK and particularly with its education system. Pushy, middle-class people with a severe sense of entitlement yet no sense of responsibility.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    lol. Here-in lies the problem with the UK and particularly with its education system. Pushy, middle-class people with a severe sense of entitlement yet no sense of responsibility.
    Nope. Firstly the problem is YOU and your disgusting prejudices. As well as people who clearly have no interest in teaching and just want a cushy career thinking they can turn up, open a text book, tick a few questions, go home and do nothing else. Disgusting
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    (Original post by Stray_talk)
    People learn in different ways. I have a few pupils who are great at things to do with shape and measure, yet other things like written methods for addition/subtraction elude them.
    It's just a pity that stuff to do with shape and measure is almost universally useless and basic addition and subtraction is so useful. I really think people shouldn't be able to leave school without being able to add two numbers together, personally.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    lol. Here-in lies the problem with the UK and particularly with its education system. Pushy, middle-class people with a severe sense of entitlement yet no sense of responsibility.
    And btw I'm not middle class. And I wouldn't mind if my child was poor at maths - it's would be your attitude as a teacher that there was something wrong with my child because she is poor at maths that would enrage me
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    It's just a pity that stuff to do with shape and measure is almost universally useless and basic addition and subtraction is so useful. I really think people shouldn't be able to leave school without being able to add two numbers together, personally.
    So what do we do? If they can't do it keep them there till their 45. Some people (particularly but not exclusively those with dyscalculia) just cannot understand the concepts of addition and subtraction
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    (Original post by cat_2002_12)
    And btw I'm not middle class. And I wouldn't mind if my child was poor at maths - it's would be your attitude as a teacher that there was something wrong with my child because she is poor at maths that would enrage me
    She'd be poor at maths because she didn't try and had a mother who was willing to tolerate her mediocrity and laziness. Not because of any lack of ability. The same with almost everyone else who is "poor" at maths. I stand by what I said - there is no excuse for not being able to add or subtract two numbers after 4 years of maths education and people who can't aged 16 shouldn't be allowed to leave school.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    She'd be poor at maths because she didn't try and had a mother who was willing to tolerate her mediocrity and laziness. Not because of any lack of ability. The same with almost everyone else who is "poor" at maths. I stand by what I said - there is no excuse for not being able to add or subtract two numbers after 4 years of maths education and people who can't aged 16 shouldn't be allowed to leave school.
    Luckily, you don't run this country.

    I found maths difficult at school and believe it's all to do with the way it is taught. I wasn't lazy, I wanted to be good but I had a teacher who taught out of a maths text book.
    And I can't believe you think there is no such thing as "lack of ability", what utter rubbish.
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    (Original post by cat_2002_12)
    Nope. Firstly the problem is YOU and your disgusting prejudices. As well as people who clearly have no interest in teaching and just want a cushy career thinking they can turn up, open a text book, tick a few questions, go home and do nothing else. Disgusting
    There are a few things I think need clarifying here.

    a) I don't want to be a teacher. I started this thread because I wanted to know what life as a maths teacher was like, so that next time someone tells me teaching is difficult, I can tell them they don't know the meaning of the word.

    b) You can. My teachers did it with me. My old A-level maths teacher had no idea what we were doing until she opened up our textbook and read the next part of the book at that very moment. She was still an excellent teacher.

    c) I think a bigger problem is people like you, who don't know anything about maths, have never excelled at it, and correspondingly are going to have no chance of inspiring our next generation of mathematicians, teaching mathematics. That is the real problem with our mathematics education system.
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    (Original post by Stray_talk)
    Luckily, you don't run this country.

    I found maths difficult at school and believe it's all to do with the way it is taught. I wasn't lazy, I wanted to be good but I had a teacher who taught out of a maths text book.
    And I can't believe you think there is no such thing as "lack of ability", what utter rubbish.
    You can believe what you want really, though, can't you? Of course, you'll blame the way you were taught rather than yourself - it's easier that way, and it fits in better with your world view that you are special, and exceptional, and hence the only rational explanation is that other people have failed you.

    You've also decided to put words in my mouth. I do, contrary to your assertion, believe in a lack of ability. It is just almost never the limiting factor in most cases, and certainly not in the case of being able to add or subtract two numbers together.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    There are a few things I think need clarifying here.

    a) I don't want to be a teacher. I started this thread because I wanted to know what life as a maths teacher was like, so that next time someone tells me teaching is difficult, I can tell them they don't know the meaning of the word.

    b) You can. My teachers did it with me. My old A-level maths teacher had no idea what we were doing until she opened up our textbook and read the next part of the book at that very moment. She was still an excellent teacher.

    c) I think a bigger problem is people like you, who don't know anything about maths, have never excelled at it, and correspondingly are going to have no chance of inspiring our next generation of mathematicians, teaching mathematics. That is the real problem with our mathematics education system.
    a) Thank God!
    b) You have no idea how much she planned and I assure you that approach doesn't work with the majority of children
    c) I recieved A* at GCSE. A in Maths, Further Maths and Physics A2s and recieved an offer to do Maths at Warwick amongst other universities. And my point is I am going to do everything I can to inspire every single one of my pupils. If you think teaching from textbooks is going to inspire them then you have no clue.
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    (Original post by cat_2002_12)
    So what do we do? If they can't do it keep them there till their 45. Some people (particularly but not exclusively those with dyscalculia) just cannot understand the concepts of addition and subtraction
    If they have some sort of learning disorder, they'd be in a school for people with learning disabilities (or at least, they should be) rather than your average comprehensive school, so they'd be excluded, obviously.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    You can believe what you want really, though, can't you? Of course, you'll blame the way you were taught rather than yourself - it's easier that way, and it fits in better with your world view that you are special, and exceptional, and hence the only rational explanation is that other people have failed you.

    You've also decided to put words in my mouth. I do, contrary to your assertion, believe in a lack of ability. It is just almost never the limiting factor in most cases, and certainly not in the case of being able to add or subtract two numbers together.
    I don't believe I mentioned I thought I was "special", just stated that I found Maths hard at school because of the way it was taught. It has been proven there are many different ways of learning and the "one fits all" doesn't work.
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    (Original post by barnisaurusrex)
    If they have some sort of learning disorder, they'd be in a school for people with learning disabilities (or at least, they should be) rather than your average comprehensive school, so they'd be excluded, obviously.
    Ever heard of inclusion?!? And I have never heard of dyscalculic people being taught in schools for people with learning difficulties. Just like dyslexics go to bog standard comprehensives in the majority of cases
Updated: April 4, 2012
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