Thursday, February 4, 2010

How to Feel Like a Moron

Now I'm a fairly educated person - if my B.A. and J.D. are any indication. And even though math has never been my strong suit (seriously - not my strong suit), I thought going in to help 2nd graders with their math was surely within my range of capability. And when they asked if I could help in computer lab I thought that was *definitely* in my skill set. Until I showed up for both of these activities.

Turns out - they don't teach math like they used to. So when the math-challenged 2nd grader I'm helping is trying to figure out 38-16, I have no idea how he's supposed to get to the answer. I mean, yes, I do actually know the answer, but that's way different than knowing how they're supposed to know the answer. Except it was made clear to me that they weren't supposed to just count out the difference on their fingers. So. . . huh. I finally asked the little girl sitting at our table who was about 30 pages further ahead in the math workbook what the strategy was. She had been watching me with a cool (and somewhat smug) look on her face for a while, clearly she was silently thinking "what a moron", so she was pretty gratified to be called in to help. Turns out the strategy involves finding "doubles" and doing a lot of borrowing of a number here and loaning of a number there, and then magically they come up with the answer. I did finally figure out the strategy enough to teach it to my unlucky protege, but god only knows what's going to happen when we get to the next chapter.

So then I was called in help in computer lab, and I thought great! this one I've got under control. Except what they're doing is making power point presentations, and it's the one Microsoft Office product that I have absolutely no experience with. It's just. . . in my defense. . . lawyers and farmers and candlemakers don't really use power point. (Well, I suppose lawyers might, but corporate lawyers not so much, and then let's face it, they'd just get their secretary to do it.) So I confessed my complete lack of aptitude with that project, and they assured me not to worry, the computer lab teacher will be explaining it all to the second graders, and I can just pick it up with them. Super. I'm going to be hanging on every word.

No comments:

Post a Comment