This is how the problem was presented. As you can see by the 'check minus' there followed by the ominous word "fix," Nick had some difficulty with this:
This is how I was taught to solve it:
This is how the boys are being taught to solve it:
I tried to show Nick, now in tears, the "simple" way of doing it. It, uh, didn't go so well. Fortunately, Nick was a brother in the same grade who, conveniently, has the same math teacher... not Mr. Sharp. As Nick sniffled and I fumed, a voice from the living room, a voice of authority and clarity, said,"You need to use a number line, Nick."
"What?!" I say, incredulously. "How on earth are you going to use a "number line" to solve this? It's simple math."
"Dad," the wise boy went on, "Some kids don't understand your way, but everybody gets this way."
Zack then went to his bookbag and pulled out the same worksheet - he'd gotten a 'check plus' - and showed it to Nick.
"Oh, I get it now," he said as he glanced at Zack's work.
Twenty minutes later the work was done. It only took me one to realize how very wrong I'd been. Zack gave me a gift, a gift of understanding, a gift of humility, a gift of empathy.
I see so much in these boys, and, slowly, I am coming to understand that I wish to receive it from them. And, just as profoundly, they are coming to understand that they can teach me.
|Photo shoot for Peebles & Peebles Used Cars ad campaign|
I often begin a post somewhere and end up somewhere else. Thanks for going along with me, I am glad you could.
Zack's a used car salesman and, get this, a Micro Biologist. Sweet...