Back to Basics Math Oh No!

by Trish
(Seattle WA)

A whole year in algebra and my teacher informed me that I didn't pass the class. It was three months before and I got up my nerve to speak up one day after class to get extra help.

After she exhausted herself, she said go sit down and figure it out! I went back to my desk in tears. When I asked for help she wouldn't help and now I failed. So my dad informed me that I have to go to summer school.

I can't go back to live with my mom unless I pass the class. I wondered if six weeks would help. I wasn't hopeful.

I felt confused as ever. The new teacher was nice though, not like the other one. She seemed to enjoy teaching. She came to class with a smile on her face every day. That made me so happy that I went to summer school happy every day!

I asked her, how is it possible to pass algebra in six weeks if I couldn't do it in a year? She said just clear everything out of your mind and we'll start fresh. I was not happy, but I was open minded.

As the days went by we had a quiz, and I got a D. I will never go back to my mom, I thought! A week went by and the teacher said time for a test to see how everyone's doing! Here we go again, I wasn't very hopeful.

I looked at the test and took a deep breath. After about 45 minutes I was the first one to take my test up front and turn it in. I told her this couldn't be correct because I finished too quickly. Everyone is still working on their test!

She said let's see how you did? She checked each problem slowly and said…You get an A!

Then she asked me, do you want to help teach the rest of the class? I was so shocked, just six weeks and I passed! But this was so much easier. I was so excited! Now I get to go back to live with my mom, I hope!

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Jul 16, 2022
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Trish. Good for you! Your story demonstrates something so important. It shows your persistence and willingness to keep trying, and it shows the power of a positive attitude.

You mentioned that your new teacher was happy and came to school with a smile, very different from your other teacher. We all learn so much more easily when we feel happy and emotionally safe, which might be a big part of the reason you had such a good experience with your summer class.

And, I really hope you get to go and live with your mother!

All my very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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