When trying to learn something new I've often found myself feeling stupid because I just couldn't "get it." The person trying to teach me would loose patience after awhile and just give up on me. Now I am definitely not stupid. As a child I would most often run into this with my Dad. Something he found quite simple he could not convey to me (usually something mechanical.) Sometime later, weeks or even years, someone else would explain the same thing in a different way and suddenly I'd get it and wonder why Dad couldn't have just explained it that way to begin with!
When I was learning to drive a bus the man that was training me was quite certain that I'd never, ever be able to back up safely. (He is a very nice man, a patient man and I loved having him for a boss.) One day we found ourselves totally fed up with each other. I needed to back around the fuel pumps and into a space between two other buses and with a standard transmission. I couldn't do it and he couldn't tell me what I was doing wrong. He got called away to an emergency and told me to stay put, he'd send a mechanic out to park it for me. I was nearly in tears. So out comes this big mean looking guy (who is in fact a big teddy bear of a guy.) He told me to stay put, that I could do this and proceeded to tell me what he wanted me to do. I took a deep breath and slid that bus around those pumps and into that space just as pretty as you please. To this day I don't know what he said that was different but suddenly it seemed almost easy.
The tables were turned this week and I found myself unable to explain things in a way that a new driver assigned to me could understand. Knowing how I am, I tried to explain things in different ways. They just didn't get it. They are with a different driver now and I'm betting that things are starting to make perfect sense and we're going to end up with a very good sub. I feel badly that I couldn't teach in a way that they'd learn but as long as we've found someone that they connect with it's all good - right?
Mike is having trouble with math. He spent a half hour last night trying to do six problems. When he was done BJ checked his paper and he only had one right. So BJ explained to him how to do the problems. Then he had him erase all of the paper and start over. This time he finished in five minutes and got them all right. Great, except that Mike is required to show his work. To show his work he must use the method his teacher wants, adding columns from left to right. BJ showed him to add the columns from right to left and carry the 10's.
So my question is: as long as Mike can get the right answer should he be penalized because he doesn't understand it the way the teacher wants it done?
Liz, Nikki, Alex and Mike. They had a good time here yesterday but they wore me out.
We're at peak color now. My sympathy to all my friends in WNY. As much as I miss living in Akron I'm glad I'm not there for the weather this week!