Math in Life

As the years progress math seems to get harder and harder; “It’s the sort of subject where the topic being learned builds off of previous knowledge” said Christine Galanis (a former math teacher). Many students feel helpless as this progression continues and the math courses they take only seem to diminish their confidence, rather than building skill as the course work enhances. For example: when Nick Papa was asked the simple question of “How do you feel in math Class”? he responded; “I feel less intelligent than I actually am. I speak multiple languages; however, math isn’t one of them”

Even though many students are daunted by mathematics, it still yields many real world uses.  “In college we had a lot of math and calculus work that allowed us to use that base knowledge in surveying and designing structures”, said John Galanis, who has been a construction manager for the past 30 years.  The infrastructure of the world depends on equations and calculations learned in high school and college level courses. So why do so many students shy away from math?  There is not a single direct answer to be given other than “Math is hard”.

Many students look to blame the teachers for their lack of understanding of mathematics.  But the problems students have with math are usually due to a lack of practice.  “Many of the children I used to see struggling were missing many, if not all of their homework assignments”,  said Christine Galanis.  Missing assignments is no joke; it can lead a student downhill fast in the class room.  But what happens when the student doesn’t understand their math homework?  Nick Papa compared math to a “language”.  Nick may be right.  Math could be its own language, not only involving numbers but also letters and symbols.

There is a solution to the problem of not understanding the math material though: Most teachers at Ipswich are required to have an extra help day after school; there is time during directed and many teachers arrive early to school each day.  If a student can learn to utilize this open time to ask teachers questions and walk through problems they don’t understand, they can become successful in the math room.