I’m pursuing a National Board Certification and am in the midst of preparing for the content knowledge portion. An area in which I know I struggle: Geometry.
I gave this problem to my students on Thursday, with the hopes that a student would be able to figure out (and show me) how to solve it. When that plan failed, I knew I needed to start preparing more formally for my impending exam.
So I spent my Saturday evening working on geometry. (Math teachers lead such exciting lives, I know.) I started with some problems from A+ Click Math. Wrong answer after wrong answer lead me to seek out a more formal review. I know there are other websites out there for geometry review (and if you can PLEASE point me to them, I’d appreciate it), but I sank to a new low and turned to Uncle Sal. The 6 minute video was excruciating to watch as he repeated himself as he drew , but to be fair, I understood the triangle inequality theorem much better at the end of the seemingly endless 6 minutes.
Today, I tried Brilliant, which is geared toward problem solving. I suppose I should be pleased with my progress and my willingness to try again in the face of defeat.
- Failing sucks. We need to remember that when we ask our students to be okay with failure and mistakes.
- It’s hard to admit you aren’t good at something. We need to acknowledge that when we expect students to approach us with questions about their learning.
- To some, being wrong means admitting you’ve failed. We can’t automatically expect students to transition into that mindset.
- Tell your students that you struggle as well. Give them specific examples of when you’ve failed and let them know that they can persevere.