We are revisiting our Blog Archives here on Math Matters!  This week, inspired by a personal story by Editorially Co-founder & CEO, Mandy Brown, we’re talking about our own memories of math and what impact it had on us later in life.
What can we do better for kids NOW, to further inspire them in the future?

This article was originally published January 21, 2013 by Mary Cropp.

“Mr. Macintosh was my Geometry teacher. On the first day of class he stood before all us students and said, ‘By the 5th week I guarantee that 90% of you girls will drop my class.’ He was a horrible teacher, discouraged me from believing that I could do math. Yes, I dropped his class after weeks of being ignored for my requests for extra help. Shame on you Mr Macintosh. Shame on you. (See why have PTSD for math.)”

This horrifying anecdote was posted on my friend’s Facebook wall just one week ago.
When I followed up with her to squeal with indignity, she told me that it takes tremendous courage to doubt those who don’t believe in you. (Luckily, she did have the courage.)


Stories like these can be easily discounted as happening “long ago” or as “isolated instances.” Yet my friend’s wall became filled with comment after comment of similarly painful stories about math class. Some of those commenting are still in high school, or not long out of the classroom.

At Zeno, we are battling the notion that math is just for a certain subset of the population. But as you see, we (still) have our work cut out for us.

What has caused “PTSD for math” in your life?
Or conversely, who or what turned you on to math?

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