Loving math is a beautiful thing and I will never understand people who always say “I’m just not a math person.” when they learn I am a math teacher. I am wondering, if I was Usain Bolt and they knew who I was, would they tell me “I am not a sprinter, I can not run 100 meters in under 10 seconds.”? Obviously not. I could understand why a man would steal to feed his family, but for me, it is impossible to understand someone who is bad at math but quite happy about it!
You probably has never experienced that your friends proudly announcing that they are bad at reading, writing, history, philosophy, singing, running, painting etc… Your friends could mention their talentlessness like saying “I can not paint or I can not dance or I can not run fast or I am not good at reading…” And making these claims would make them embarrassed because they are not socially acceptable.
So what is the difference between math and other abilities? Why is it okay to by openly negative about math for our friends? The answer is so clear. Firstly, our friends think that math is something just for geniuses but I am pretty sure about that I am not a genius and I love math and I am good at that. They also see math as a domain only accessible to group of smart people. Secondly, math hatred seem rather innocuous for them because being not a math person is socially acceptable. These two main reasons turned our beautiful math into a phobia. Phobia is equal to anxiety. Anxiety is a virus. As a result, our friends still keep telling everyone they are bad at math and spreading math phobia and anxiety. Unfortunately, this virus is especially affecting little kids and it causes loss the ability of mathematics like solving math problem and examining a word problem… And they keep asking the most common question “when will I ever use this?”
Friends! Amigos! Romans! Math has depth. Being good at math has to be quite cool and people’s math skills should be appreciated in our world. We have to make it socially unacceptable to be bad at math just like it’s socially unacceptable to be bad at reading. People can appreciate Picasso or Van Gogh without having the ability of painting right? Or they do not need to know how to play a guitar to listen King of Convenience and enjoy it right? These two examples prove that we can teach people how to enjoy math or how to fall in love math. All we need to do is making avenues to expose people to mathematical beauty.
And my friend! If you are rubbish at math, I do not care. You are still my friend.