I was a complete and utter failure in school when it came to math (or algebra or whatever you’d like to call it). In standardized testing I ended up testing in the bottom five percent of our population. I switch numbers in my head, so when it came to memorizing the multiplication tables I was hooped. 64’s became 46’s, and vise versa. Later on I’d fail at any concept that I couldn’t visualize. Provide me with a way to rectify the equations in a tangible manner and I’d breeze through the chapter. Otherwise, and generally, I was in way past my ability to stay afloat. All through school I thought I must be an absolute idiot. It was hard on my self esteem, and interfered with so much I’d hoped to do or become. But today I know better.
As an adult, in every day life, I can often figure out number problems faster than my “high honor roll” husband. He comes to his answers the way the teachers insist one should… I come to them by means that baffle and confuse anyone who’s ever asked “how did you figure that out so quick?”
Even simple math problems get answered in a way vastly different than we are taught to find the answers. Today, for example… I needed to know how much it would be for three items that were $3.50 each. Easy, right? $10.50 But the interesting part is how I arrive at that figure.
Most people simply multiply 3.50 by 3… Me? Well, I know that three threes is nine, and .50 three times is 1.50… together they make 10.50. And be glad that’s an easy one. LMAO The way I arrive at correct numerical answers would astound most.
Anyway… the whole point of this is simply to say that numbers tormented me as a child. I was taught that I couldn’t do math, that I didn’t have the capacity. The bottom five percent of society, incapable of even the most basic math skills. But it wasn’t true. I just fail at “textbook” math.
Should children be punished because they can’t arrive at an answer the way society insists they arrive at it? I don’t think so. There has to be a better way. Do I have the answer? Do I have a solution? Unfortunately no. But I do know that the way things are is not okay. The status quo is simply not good enough. If I am capable of surpassing honor roll math intellect in terms of speed and accuracy than surely there are others who were also failed by the education system – or who ARE being failed by it at this very moment. Can’t something be done?