It’s that moment when a stroppy 11 year old finally tells you what’s “stressing them out”, and you find out it’s ONLY maths homework, and they sigh in relief as you naively take it from them and tell them you’ll help them with it… and then they see your face go white as you suddenly realise it may as well be Chinese rather than maths. From that moment, you are no longer a god in their eyes, not able to solve the world’s problems for them, not even able to do maths because you have a flaw. You’re mathslexic!
Actually, there’s no such word. The correct word for people who see numbers on a page but can’t replicate them is dysnumerate. Rather like dyslexia, where people see the words and letters, but they do not compute in the brain, dysnumeracy is crossed wire in the brain. Unfortunately, although both of those conditions exist, many, many people use them as an excuse for simply not learning at school. It’s a sad fact, but a fact it remains Cours particuliers Maths.
Why is that? Why is it that so many people feel the need to excuse the fact that they missed out on a good basic education? Because many of us were branded at school. Not physically, but mentally, by cruel and ineffective teachers, poorly run schools, and ineffective teaching methods. Many of us were told we were lazy, a dreamer, useless and never likely to amount to anything, so we quit. Even before the end of our school life, we quit learning. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quit the mental scarring, and carried that with us. Luckily, some change is good, and those old attitudes are now unpopular, and youngsters can get many types of help and support.
Some overcome it themselves, and actually begin their proper education once they’ve left school and tasted life. A life that is now so competitive, you can’t just accept the gaps in your learning. You have to overcome them. An old brickwork teacher of mine had a degree in maths. How and why did a bricklayer get a degree in maths? He went to night school at some expense of his own to learn “Because” he said “maths is perfectly consistent. It is the only thing in the whole universe that doesn’t change, so once you learn it, you have it forever.”
Everything in life changes, the people around us and the way we view them as our own views of life itself alters. The languages that we speak constantly morph into another. If I’d told you 20 years ago that you were ‘cool’, you’d take it as a compliment, not a testament to your temperature. Today, it is no longer cool to say cool. I’m so uncool, I don’t even know what the proper word for cool is now! If I told you I was ‘gay’ nowadays, you certainly wouldn’t assume I meant ‘cheerful’.
But maths is unique. Maths doesn’t change at all. Here is the mathematical proof. A billion years ago (I didn’t do history, don’t hassle me on dates, it’s not cool..) there were two dinosaurs. Two more arrived, and there were four. Follow the maths so far? Then a fifth arrived, and he ate three of the others. So… there were two plus two, plus one equals five, then minus three which equalled two.
In the year 2525, if man is still alive according to Zager and Evans, two spaceships will arrive on earth. Then two more will arrive. Then a fifth, who will destroy three of the others. The aliens in the two spacecraft left will be think they were very cool to have made it here safe but, just as things change here, I expect they’ll also have other words on their planet by then.
So if you didn’t achieve at school, are you doomed? Does that mean that you have fulfilled the prophecy of your teacher who made it clear in your mass produced and totally impersonal school report that you were “a waste of space, destined to achieve little other than tying his own shoelaces unaided, writing just enough to fill out his social security claim, and have enough maths to count his handout… ” Actually, that was mine, but I’m certain I wasn’t the only complete waste of space.
Of course not. There are many evening classes that you can attend, and many private tutors for hire. They all cost money, but investing in yourself is worth the outlay. The cost in time is often most prohibitive, so personally, for maths I’d go online.
I actually had a need for maths tuition a few years ago, and the man was excellent, but we could never get together when it suited us as I was working nights. Online tutorials in maths are excellent, because you can go over the same lesson again and again until you get it. And it’s worth ‘getting it’ because once you have, it NEVER CHANGES.