What’s the rush

I really like teaching math. I think I’m most successful in that realm. Though I enjoy math it’s one of my biggest frustrations. It never fails. Every year more than half of my students swear they’re strong in the basics. The conversation usually goes like this.

“Oh, Mr. Whitaker I know how to multiply. I don’t need to learn equal groups or repeated addition.”

“That’s nice. What’s 2 x 3?”

“That’s easy. it’s 6.”

“Wow, you’re right. You know your facts. Hey, if 2 children both have $3. How much do they have?”

“Mr. Whitaker, the answer is $5.”

“Nice work, now sit down right here and work on these equal groups.”

I’m not sure WHY every child is in such a hurry to get somewhere. I’m not even sure WHERE they’re on a hurry to get, but it never fails that most of my students swear they can, but can’t do math. Today I even broke down to my groups what’s waiting for them, word problems. Since we’re not the strongest readers being able to listen and pull info from a word problem is going to be even more crucial.

My issue isn’t unique at all, I know. I’m still slightly taken aback by just how many students don’t want to learn the small steps that will help them be great or at least better at a skill. Somehow everyone is supposed to be good at…( fill in the blank) with very little sweat or hard work.

Maybe it’s the “magic pill” syndrome. A pill with make you slimmer, fitter, more appealing and more cooler all for $19.95 + shipping and handling. Anyway, I’d love to hear how others keep the motivation level high when the students think they know it all?


Here’s some of our greatest hits this week



Why we’re asked not to bring toys to school. Augh! image


Compare and Contrast “The Runaway Pancake” to “The Runaway Tortilla”. Kids had a lot of fun. I should’ve made pancakes and tortillas, but that was doing to much. imageStill working on my organization skills. Not the best, but at least I can find my centers quickly. Yeah!



2 thoughts on “What’s the rush

  1. Jason – your classroom looks awesome! I bet your 2nd grade kids love walking in the door. Just a comment on the tortillas and pancakes: I bet there is a mom or dad or sister or brother that would help you make those tortillas and pancakes…! One thing I learned my first year of teaching is that asking for help is critical or you will drown! Public school teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there in the world – grateful that someone so dedicated is taking it on! Hope the weekend gives you room to breathe!

    • You’re very right Karen. Sometimes, sad to say it’s very hard to get community help/buy in. I need to ask more. I’ve just found so little support in the past that I’ve kind of stopped asking.

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