I have committed myself to writing a blog post a day for the whole of November for National Blog Posting Month. Today is my 29th blog of NaBloPoMo but I really have other things to do that need my time. I have to write a report for each of my 120 students.
I am a maths teacher. I teach GCSE maths in a Further Education college to students who failed their GCSE maths when they were at school. I love mathematics and I love my students but I sometimes find my job disheartening because my students do not love mathematics, no matter what I do to share the love with them. I spend hours looking for new ways to teach maths that are different from the ways they were taught at school, because the ways they were taught at school didn’t work for them. I enthuse about the beauty of mathematics. I show them awesome visualisations like this one. I tie them to the table leg and make them walk round the table to teach them about loci.
But they moan and say that this won’t be on the exam paper. They just want to do past papers.
What they really want to do is go out on their horses or their tractors, or go and play rugby or football. They went to college to study agriculture, equine or sport, not maths. They already feel like failures because they failed their maths. Now they have to sit in a classroom and do maths while their friends who passed their GCSEs are out on the football pitch. They hate my subject and they are not too keen on me either since I am the one making them study it.
And now I have to write a report with a positive comment for each of my students. It’s going to take up a lot of my blogging time!
Here is an excellent article explaining why my job is so hard.