Miss. Hillary Strain

Math Autobiography

I haven’t always enjoyed math.  To be honest, I despised it up until the eleventh grade.  I thought it was useless, difficult, too challenging, and I could never grasp onto any of the concepts presented in front of me.  I dreaded going to the class, wasn’t ever interested in what we were learning and came up with any excuse to not take the time to put effort into what I was learning.

I remember all throughout elementary and middle school that math wasn’t my forte.  I struggles with understanding the concepts and always had to get extra help.  In elementary school I remember struggling with fractions and the higher multiplications.  I remember in my grade 5 class, my teacher would make us stand in front of the whole class and recite our multiplications from numbers 1 to 12.  When I got to the higher numbers I would either always make a mistake or take too long and my teacher would tell me to sit down and practice, it was embarrassing.  Later in my grade 8 year, they started adding letters and more complicated questions which I couldn’t grasp on to. I couldn’t understand to factor and move things to the “other side of the equation” it was never a strong point.  I began to get frustrated, unmotivated and very mad at myself for not being able to do it.  These types of struggles and dislike for math continued into my grade 9 and 10 math classes, but it all changed in the eleventh grade. That year was the year that I made room in my heart for this dear subject, that was the year that I learned to love math!

It all changed when I walked into the first class of Math A30.  As per usual, I sat down, opened my books and immediately rested my head on my hand waiting for my teacher to arrive.  Something felt different about this year and I realized it as soon as my teacher walk in.  He was energetic and alive! He marched up to the front of the room yelling good morning and seemed very enthusiastic about the day.  He begin by introducing himself and then got on with the lesson.  I could tell right when he started to write on the whiteboard that my opinion on this subject was going to change.  The way he talked as he wrote the notes on the board was different, you could tell he really loved what he was doing, he spent time going through the examples to ensure everyone understood what was going on.  His examples were detailed and he went through them with passion.  After he was done lecturing, for the first time ever, I understood exactly what I was learning, and to make things better, he sat at the front of the class after he was done and after 10 minutes he yelled: “Well, someone better have a question for me. I’m getting bored. Someone come see me for help!” From that moment on, my views on math changed and I began to excel and become very passionate about the subject.

I did have some struggles with some of the classes I took in University, but my love for the subject, my hard work and help from classmates made them easier to get through.  Personally, I believe that math is important to learn.  Most people don’t know it, but we use math in every day life situations. We use it in cooking, while shopping, finding the right dimensions and fits while building things.  People always overestimate math but never realize that they are unconsciously using it almost every day.  If one doesn’t take math, they will come across struggles during the day or realize while they are having difficulties with a certain task.  Math is more than just an equation or a simple process, it is something that one can benefit from and if they don’t have the basic knowledge and skills, they won’t realize how much it can affect their lives.   I knew I always wanted to be a teacher and that class made me realize that Math was going to be my specialty.  I want to be exactly like him.  I want to show the students how much I love math and show them that it is not a scary subject to learn.  I want to change their minds about the subject, like he did mine, I want to have fun examples, get right into the content and be so enthusiastic about the subject that it rubs off onto them.  People need to realize, like I did, that there is a lot more to math than just numbers and trying to solve pointless questions.  It is a challenging subject but in the end it can be one of the more rewarding experiences one can have.


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One thought on “Math Autobiography

  1. So glad that teacher made a difference!! You will, too, for many future students!!

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