Teachers and tutors keep me sane

Have you tried helping your child with math, or a subject that they’re just struggling with? I tried helping my eldest with algebra last night. I love this child. She’s smart, funny, my mini-me, in all areas except … math.

I loved algebra as a kid. Palo Alto calls me a freak of nature because I loved math. I found it easy and as a parent, you hope that some of those genes are passed on to your children, that they find some of the difficult subjects easy, not for you, but for their sake. My eldest is struggling right now. Not because she doesn’t get it, but because she’ trying to skip steps, in the hopes that she’ll be able to get through it quicker. When she does that, she makes silly mistakes. Silly mistakes that cost her and affect her grade.

She’s a smart kid, and she’s been able to get by up until now. Algebra isn’t really difficult, there are just a lot of steps that you need to work through slowly, it requires attention to detail, and she hasn’t learned that yet. She hasn’t figured out that little things such as transferring the wrong sign can screw you up. Or multiplying/dividing incorrectly, it too can screw you up. And heaven forbid Mommy says, “You need to pay attention to detail.” As sweetly as I can say it, it’s still a criticism.

We were both in tears by the time we were done. Her because “Mommy is mean and impatient.” Me because 2 X 6 does not equal 14!!!! Or a – + – does not equal a positive!!! And because I hate that my child thinks of me as a mean mommy, or as impatient.

I know I should relax, but I realized last night, as I often do when I’m helping with math, or piano (PIANO!! Don’t get me started on piano!!! Read. The. Notes.), teachers are amazing. Tutors are amazing. Their patience should be compensated as much as their experience, and skills to teach. Why they get paid the piddly amounts they do is appalling to me. I think we should have anyone making over a certain amount of money automatically apply a percentage of their wages towards a teacher’s compensation fund, we’d finally be able to compensate them fairly, and at the level of which they deserve.

I love my kids’ teachers and our tutor and I’m grateful for the time and dedication they put into helping them, teaching them. Without them, I think I’d be in an insane asylum helping my new mentally ill BFFs with their Sudoku puzzles and algebra, and begging the head psycho running the joint to get rid of the damn piano.

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