You never know!

Posted on March 16, 2016


… Okay, sometimes you do know.   But sometimes you don’t.

I had an appointment w/ a student and I was somewhere between disappointed and embarrassed in how helpful I was.   The student seemed to be doing things right in approaching problems so … I made a few comments and loaned her a book on math anxiety… and I hadn’t even turned off the google hangout that I’d been listening to when she arrived, so it was going on in the background…

(Note to self:   either be in a hangout or not.  Stuff happens too fast. It’s a distraction from both things.)

Except, it turns out, the part where I noticed that she was talking herself through the problem and that seemed to be working well for her… and asked if she did that when she was taking tests… was useful… as in, no, don’t talk out loud, but engage the verbal-logical side of the brain talking about that stuff (as opposed to having it talking about how YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL AGAIN)…

So… I’ve learned to engage in “what are you doing when you study that you’re not doing when you take a test?”  and I’ll just be delighted and a half if she’s learned to take a test as if she were doing homework, and get ’em right.   I didn’t even give her my “studying can be like singing along with the radio — the test is a solo performance, so you need to rehearse that way” spiel on the grounds that … she *wasn’t* looking back — she was just doing the problems, and doing them right.



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