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laura98's avatar

How do I not let it bother me?

Asked by laura98 (156 points ) April 11th, 2014

So lately I’ve been having a lot of trouble in math. I’m a sophomore in High School and am currently taking Algebra II. For some reason I’ve been struggling terribly and my math teacher isn’t interested in making my time in her class any easier. My tutor that the school gave me doesn’t always remember how to do what we’re learning and he has to leave occasionally without teaching me because he has other things to do.

My mother and I sit down for 4–5 hours a night trying to get my math homework done and still I failed for a quarter for the first time in my life. I was 1st in my grade school and now I’m close to going to summer school for math. I just recently got my report card and my school had to make a big deal out of my horrible math grade and how I have 14 absences out of the 22 they allow you to have.

I’m somewhat of a sickly child and I suffer from depression and anxiety, so I have zero drive to get up and I’m always on the verge of tears just walking through the hallway. I don’t have many friends and I literally feel like dying just because of a trivial math grade. All of my other grades were 100’s except for a 63 for this quarter in math. Last semester I was able to get an 81 and a 70 for my two quarters, but obviously my grade is just getting worse as time goes on. My math teacher just seems to want to see me fail. I don’t know what to do anymore. Any advice would be helpful.

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8 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

You’re suffering, and that is not right. I don’t know where you live nor what resources you might have available, but I would talk to your school counselor immediately about this problem. Explain your emotional troubles and your struggle in this subject to the counselor.

Be your own best advocate. Ask your mother to come with you to meet the counselor, if you want.

Call your local Board of Education where you live and inquire about what resources are available to help you.

Demand assistance.

creative1's avatar

Sounds like your mother needs to step in and ask why the tutor is leaving when they are being paid either by the school or your mom to do something other than tutor you. They should also be providing you a tutor who excels in the subject and can approach it in more than one way because something as simple as how it is explained could be the trouble with understanding it.

I also have another suggestion I am taking classes online which doesn’t always give you a good explaination and when I don’t understand a problem I look up what the problem is called on youtube and there are usually many professors or teachers who make videos to help you with it. Here’s a link that may help you with your searching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ben3ttzSDhw&list=PL5C0EA5494B771A0A

Cruiser's avatar

First off there is no excuse that you should feel that your teacher is wanting you to fail. I feel there is a disconnect between you and the teacher. Going forward you will not always have a teacher that you get warm fuzzies from…that is reality but at the same time you should always have an open door to access this teacher and get the help you need to achieve the lessons they are teaching you. But the fact that you say you have a tutor and 4–5 hours a night doing homework with your mom and are still failing I hate to say sounds like you are either exaggerating or you are in a class you do not belong in. There is no shame in backing down to a lessor class that is more appropriate for your skill level.

I am saying this because I have recently been through this with both my sons and you need to be honest with yourself, and your mom and say….this is not working mom. Can you help me? Then ask to see your high school counselor and explain just how difficult of a situation you are in and ask their opinion. This is what they are paid to do and will be there for you to advise you as to what is best more so than your parent or teacher will.

If your mom is not on board with this then arrange to meet with the counselor on your own just to get an outside opinion as to why this class is so difficult for you. As a parent, at first I had no idea how much my sons were struggling in the math classes they were in. My oldest was in honors calculus and it was not difficult enough for him and he was bored and my freshman son was in your shoes and he was in classes higher than he tested to be in and it was a clerical error that placed him in a class he was not qualified to be in.

Bottom line is you should be challenged not overwhelmed. And if there are other issues in your life you are dealing with….now is the time to open up to someone…anyone and get the help that you need.

dappled_leaves's avatar

You’ve done something very good here – you’ve recognized that this is a problem. Some people never do that. Even better, you’ve asked people for help. Excellent.

As I see it, you have two serious problems that need to be resolved as soon as is humanly possible. First, you feel like you are failing at math, failing at school. The consequences of that are that you will feel very self-conscious while trying to overcome your difficulty with math. It’s a lot easier to learn when you feel, know, that you can do it. The fear of failure is something you’ll have to learn to recognize and to actively fight against. It’s your enemy. One thing that can really help with that is having a love for the material you’re learning. Try to find a way to love the math a little. You need to convince yourself that you can succeed at this. You can. You can totally do this.

Second, you’re missing a lot of classes. You’ve explained that your emotional state is keeping you from attending, and that’s understandable. That is going to keep you from “being in trouble,” but it’s not going to help you understand the concepts that you should be learning in class. So, work at staying in the classroom, and listening and taking notes. It’s important. If you absolutely can’t get yourself into the classroom, you’re going to have to put in the time with your tutor or working with the textbook at home. Either way, a certain amount of time must be spent reading and doing problems. That’s just the nature of math. @creative1 is right – you should try to get another tutor. The one you have now does not sound helpful at all.

I’d be interested in knowing why you think your teacher wants to see you fail. I don’t think that’s likely. At worst, your teacher probably just isn’t interested in your problems. Sometimes that happens. That’s ok. He or she won’t be your teacher forever. There are better ones out there.

Finally, if none of this stuff works, and you fail the course… then you fail the course. Life will continue, and you’ll get to try again, only this time with a bit more experience. Repeating a course can actually make you quite an expert in it. If you find yourself in that position, try to make the most of it.

If you need some tips in finding math interesting or fun, try asking a question about it. Maybe we can give you some ideas. :)

And good luck! We’re rooting for you!

ibstubro's avatar

Your math teacher is your math teacher. They do not want you to fail. If you fail, in some way, they fail.

Pass the class and change to a humanities degree.

Smitha's avatar

Everyone has given you great advice. Nothing more to add. Being good at math comes from working hard at it. It’s a choice you make about how hard you’re going to work at it.Some people claim it to be natural gifts that make it easy for them, but the fact is that nearly everyone can learn mathematics if they are taught properly. There is no good-at-math gene.There are so many people who could excel at math, but have been held back because they get discouraged when they are told by their parents and teachers that they are bad at math. Practice well and get some help.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I would like to add something. Many of the answers I’ve read here seem to imply that if you try hard enough, you will succeed. That is not always true. My 16-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with dyscalculia, which is a type of dyslexia that manifests itself with math. She struggles and gets extra help in the classroom. We’re lucky to live in an area that gives extra help. No amount of having the right attitude helps. It is a diagnosed disorder with verifiable symptoms. Dismissing the OP’s statements out of hand is doing her a disservice.

@laura98 If you are struggling as much as it sounds like you are, then you need help. You can get that help by asking for it. I suggest you start by asking your mother to help you approach the teacher and other officials at your school and explore ways to get you the help you deserve. You are worth it.

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