Maybe you heard your parents say, “I’m not good at math! Nobody in my family is good at math!” Or you may have even heard a teacher say, “Oh I was never any good at math.” And maybe, you got lost in math class one day–and never found yourself in all the symbols again.
You could spend the rest of your life struggling with facts, figures, and understanding finances. But numeracy is just as important as literacy, and God actually LOVES math. Everything God created has order–and that order begins with math. Making music, choreographing a dance, decorating, mixing paint, paying taxes, baking cookies, predicting the weather, calculating your debt to income, savings and interests, sales projections for your business…I could go on, but you get the idea!
Math is embedded in every day life. And the more you master it, the less you have to depend on someone else to manage your money, your ministry, your mission later on.
Math is not the monster; mindset is.
Math can be challenging, sure! But you know what’s worse? A mindset that cannot change. Someone determined to not be good at something will always fail.
More to the point? Listen. The adult who told you that you couldn’t? They were full of it. Full. Especially if they called themselves educators. Here’s the skinny, Minnie: maybe you’ve given math a bad wrap because some HUMAN gave you a hard time or didn’t give you the opportunity to redeem yourself or embarrassed you or made you feel like a failure in the math classroom. Maybe that adult only knew one way to say it, to teach it, to understand it and it messed you up. Maybe you just needed to see it more times or in a different way.
It wasn’t because you couldn’t—you just hadn’t yet.
Teachers—real teachers who live inside the pedagogy and practice, who love kids like I love God—understand that while standards might be written in steps? Learning is not linear. It’s why we circle back, build on skills, teach the same things over and over again within different contexts. If you didn’t see the connection over here just maybe you’ll get it over there.
To be victorious in anything, you have to be okay with the try and the fail; in the fail is the learn. Math is no different. You do it until it clicks; listen until it makes sense. You keep trying until you’ve made headway. Sometimes it’s one step at a time, but isn’t one step better than none?
So may you learn to master that thing that you said you’d never master; and may the discipline of never giving up transfer into every area of your life…math skills included.