Letter to the Editor: Teachers may be cause of students’ math problems
March 1, 2011 · 12:07 PM
I was very dismayed to read about the problems our high school students are having in math. The article was all about the blaming game. The off-Island students aren’t as prepared as we thought. There is a gap in our teaching methods from the younger grades to our high school. Math is very difficult. Math is not really needed for those students who are in the social sciences. We do not have enough math tutors.
Nowhere did I read that maybe we have the wrong teachers teaching the subject of math. Where are the excited teachers telling the students that math is fun? That math is easy? That with math comes a process of analyzing all types of problems in the real world? Math gives a person a different prospective on a situation, whether it is figuring out the true cost of a bond or how a ball will fly through the air with a top spin or an under spin. This is all math. I would bet that all students did well in Bill Nye The Science Guy’s classes. He taught with enthusiasm and made the subject relevant and doable.
Is the problem that we have teachers teaching math who are not up to the job? Are we allowing seniority to make that decision instead of the most qualified? Maybe it is the younger, less experienced teacher who will come into the school with the attitude that math is the best subject in the world. That is the person I would want teaching my child.
We have a teacher problem here. I am very concerned.
— Hilary Emmer