Which Highschool Math did you appreciate the most now that you're an adult?

@rinzgca (317)
Philippines
June 18, 2011 12:05am CST
So, as the title asks, which Highschool Math? I've just started teaching in a private school in my country. I'm a Math teacher and as expected, a lot of students cringe at the idea of Math. But it is such an important subject because it is used in all walks of life and in different disciplines! So now, I'm wondering, which Highschool Math (Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Trigonometry, Business Math, Statistics) did you appreciate the most? Why? Did your math teacher have a special project or something that made you like it now?
1 person likes this
9 responses
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
18 Jun 11
Honestly I think required math skills and the higher math should be split in two. Math to be used for a life time should be required every year. The higher math should be electives. I work in a world of financial products for upper bracket financial customers. They may know the higher math so well they are scientists, professors, writers of novels etc., but money? Not so much. Call the math class Math For Life and integrate it with economics and social studies. Supply a bunch of monopoly money. Everyone who walks into class every day gets five bucks just to walk in the door. If you're sick it doesn't matter, you don't get the five bucks. Every test you get a "B" on you get five bucks. Get an "A", you get 10 bucks. Have the students keep track of their earnings like a checkbook. One day discuss how people made their income to become independent, raised families and gave back to the community. Another day discuss how the wealthy became wealthy. Another day discuss how lottery winners lost their millions and why they did that.I have tons of ideas how to prepare our kids for the future but, that's never taught in school. I like the thought of being a teacher but the restrictions and requirements have turned many of them into robots.
@rinzgca (317)
• Philippines
20 Jun 11
Hi 2004cqui, I am very interested in your ideas. If I were to give them students bucks (like a salary), I'll probably have to use play money or some prop. But I like it. I will seriously consider one of your ideas. I agree that there are restrictions being placed in education. Sometimes, these restrictions are being commanded by people who aren't even teachers, but just politicians. Thus, the teachers are pressured to finish a certain curriculum for a certain time and they are hard pressed to finish it. Hmmm. You've really given me something to think about not only what to teach but probably an idea on what masterals program I might take next school year. You see, one of my options is Math curriculum development or something of that nature. Thank you for your ideas. :D
@rinzgca (317)
• Philippines
21 Jun 11
Yeah, yeah, you did say Monopoly money. Lol. I noticed it only after I re-read your post and mine.. My bad. Sorry. Yes, a good math curriculum should make a decent mathematician out of anyone, even if that guy wasn't really good at math. It's good to hear that you are doing well despite your math fear early in life. The thing is, not all math teachers are really gifted or properly trained teachers, you know? When I was given the Business Math subject to teach last year, I cringed at the idea. First, it was because I never had a business math subject in college or highschool. No accounting, no economics, nada. I feared I wouldn't be able to teach it properly. While I have to say, I might have failed in some areas, I'm just glad that the interest in business were able to get through them. A financial management class is probably a good idea. A lot of the youth nowadays have no idea how to handle their finances. But I guess, a lot of good ideas really get shot down at first. If you really believe in it, then maybe you should take an initiative and give classes. Who knows where it would lead?
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
21 Jun 11
Hmmm! Food for thought!
@gerald_lian (2193)
• Australia
19 Jun 11
I have always liked Maths when I was in school, probably partly due to it being quite an easy subject to grasp (just have to know how to apply the formula etc), and partly due to my dad being a Maths teacher and teaching me topics ahead of time so that I could keep ahead of my friends in school! I would say I appreciate Algebra and Statistics the most among all the high school math topics, now that I'm working as a pharmacist. Algebra helps when deciding/calculating the dose of solutions/syrups to administer to patients based on the strength of the solution/syrup, or when deciding how much water to add to a solution to dilute it to the desired strength. On the other hand, statistics sometimes help to determine the validity and trustworthiness of health and medical journal articles that I read. It just seems kind of weird that when I was in high school, I never thought that Maths could one play such a huge role in the eventual career path that I chose to take......
@rinzgca (317)
• Philippines
20 Jun 11
I am a new teacher and I am (once again) inspired by this testimonial. I guess, when you are a student you never really see the whole picture until a certain time. Its good that you had such a fun time with math in highschool and have realized its usefulness now that you're working. As a new teacher, I am still looking for ways to make math a worthy experience to the general student body who don't like it. I now have some idea on the nature of word problems I'm gonna give with your real-life examples. Although, I guess the diluting thing is more the chemistry teacher's job, doncha think so? Haha. Thanks for sharing! :)
• Australia
21 Jun 11
That's right; as a student it is always hard to see the relevance of what is being studied because the knowledge is just there in the head but practical situations where the knowledge would come in handy are pretty scarce. As such, making a math lesson interesting for students such as those can be really tough, and would need a lot of brainstorming and creativity. P/S: Regarding the diluting thing, I guess it's a good balance between chemistry as well as maths. So I reckon the chemistry teacher and the maths teacher would have more or less similar responsibilities in this......
• Philippines
18 Jun 11
From my view point, the most used high school math for me at the moment is algebra, business math and statistics (from what you have mentioned). I really appreciate algebra since it is quite simple and useful. You can always substitute X for in life. But I guess a good thing to learn is business math. I think you are referring to simple and compounded interest calculations here. This topic will help students to get a grasp of financial literacy for their future. But what I really liked is calculus. you can analyze a great deal of data using simple calculus. Also, because calculus was dreaded in my college days so having learned the basics at high school really helped me.
@rinzgca (317)
• Philippines
20 Jun 11
Oh wow. You really encouraged me to teach calculus early! In my country, it isn't really being taught as a regular subject in all schools. I really like calculus too. It is one of the most applicable math because it deals with more realistic problems. Although, I think I still find some calculus word problems (college level) really, really challenging. :))
• Philippines
22 Jun 11
That's great! If it is not offered in most schools there just try looking for a tutee. Teaching calculus can be tough but very rewarding. You get to have a grasp of mathematics that matters in the business world and engineering. I am an engineer that's why I needed to know calculus. It really is very helpful in analyzing data and trends. Plus, being able to solve calculus problems can make you feel very good!
• Canada
18 Jun 11
I appreciateed Accounting actually.. Everything I learned in Pre Cal was forgotten within one month of completing the course. Accounting is something you remember more though, and it's more relevant. It helps you understand businesses and how they run. I found it interesting and really easy once I got the hang of it.
@rinzgca (317)
• Philippines
20 Jun 11
Ah yes...Pre Cal. I'm a math teacher and I've forgotten parts of it as well. So I guess, it's fairly common to forget math stuff especially if you won't use it. I haven't had accounting (not in college or highschool). But from the ideas I have of it, I can imagine the students can relate to it more because the subject can clearly be used in real life. But knowing five accountants now, I imagine I would start learning it in the future. :)
@beamer88 (4267)
• Philippines
18 Jun 11
I'm just glad I learned math, even basic arithmetic :) Like you said, math is used in any of our undertakings in life although some may probably has not realized it. But when I was in high school, I love business math. Back then, I had already decided that after college I'll go into business, and as such, I took that subject far more seriously than my other subjects :) Good luck to your new teaching job. Math's a great subject to teach. Well, that's what my mom and my two siblings always say since all of them teach math :)
@rinzgca (317)
• Philippines
20 Jun 11
Looks like your family really like Math! :) I won't be teaching Business Math this year but I hope that the students who will be taking it up will be inspired with it like you were. I know that there were some who loved the subject when we had it last school year. Just wondering, what year did you take up Business Math? In my school in the Philippines, it was given as an elective for the first year high school (gr8 in k-12 curriculum, if I'm not mistaken).
@ReginaT (11)
• United States
15 Jul 11
This is a really tough question because I ended up taking some high level math in college to receive my engineering degree. I think that mastering algebra really helped me in daily life, from calculating percentages to solving equations in my engineering courses.
@marcmm (1806)
• Malaysia
18 Jun 11
I just glad I can learn math. In fact I'm very good at math. One of my favorite subject and I always excel in it. My favorite math is anything that have these x and y. Those made math very interesting to learn.
• United States
18 Jun 11
Just basic math and algebra have been the most useful to me in my career. Just the knowledge of being able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide has proven very useful in doing a lot of work necessities. It helps out when you have to do taxes, pay bills, and etc.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
18 Jun 11
Because I never attended High School (not even one day) I never received and introduction to Math. I learned my times tables and how to divide, etc, but that was it 4 me. I entered College at age 16, and although I found it very difficult I managed a passing grade.