Matt says ...
Interesting article, Robert.
I've always been horrible at math. In high school I once finished a quarter with an F in algebra and A's in everything else. In grad school, I received a C in my stats class. In grad school, a C is essentially an F. (Actually, my work in the class was sub-C. The professor knew I was a theory major, so I think he gave me the C knowing I'd never have to look at the stuff again). However, I offset that C with A's in my political theory classes. The following semester, I earned a 4.0 because the only courses I had to take were in my major.
Being a theory major, I wasn't required to take the advanced stats class everyone else had to take. If I had to take that class, I probably would have flunked out of grad school.
I never understood math concepts. Math was always just a jumble of random numbers to me. I guess the concepts were never really taught the right way--if at all.
Hope you're doing well.
Brian C. says ...
Wow! That was a great article.
I enjoyed it all, especially these two paragraphs:
What are my credentials for teaching men to date? I sucked at it, and
I got good at it. That's it.
The best teachers are those who have struggled to learn what they are
now teaching. They understand what it feels like to not "get it," to
feel anxious, to feel overwhelmed, to feel awkward, to feel stupid.
I totally agree with you. I can understand why men like working with
you. I have read your book at least three times. I also refer to it
every now and again (including today). Thus, I feel like I've read it
a dozen times. What jumps out at me each time I read it though is how
well you communicate. Your language is not convoluted. It is clear,
concise, and to the point. It is easy to understand.
Kevin says ...
FYI, there's a big typo in the title of the article:
Why Math Majors Often Make the Worst *MATCH* Teachers
Dr. Glover says ...
Thanks, I'm a terrible speller too!
Mark says ...
Although it is possible for those who struggled to learn a subject to become good teachers of that subject, it isn't likely. Most people who struggle learning something simply don't learn it. And although remembering one's learning struggles can help on occasion in explaining a subject, obsession or preoccupation with those struggles is likely to get in the way of teaching.
The best teachers of mathematics are those who speak clearly and elegantly. Although they might struggle mightily, it is usually best in instruction if those struggles are either hidden, or else very clearly explained.
Matthew says ...
My lord this article is fantastic, for I am a secondary Spanish teacher at a large high-school in Texas. Not only is the a reoccurring problem at every school I have taught, we especially have this difficulty with our native Spanish-speaking intructors, especially at the previous school I was employed.
I am not a native-Spanish speaker, and like you Dr. Glover with math, I had to literally force myself to learn it more or less on my own. Now, as a teacher, I break down the tinniest and most important details for the students because I literally expect them to know nothing when they come through the door. THis is the biggest problem, as you have said, with the natural experts of a subject-matter: They assume the principles and conecpts are a given when they are not, and do not realize these concepts must be consistently reviewed and reinforced.
I know this even more through first-hand experience because I have also worked as an English instructor in Chile, and I could not believe how little I knew about my own language that the Chilean instructors were so knowledgeable about. It was impressive. Nevertheless, like here in the states, parents and students had a bias toward native-speakers because it is a popular trend, even when the instruction is often below par.
Jay says ...
The more I read about Doctor Glover the more I like him.
Chase says ...
Love this article and I truly believe it hits the concept on the head.
I am a huge sports fan and I believe this same concept absolutely holds true in the sports arena. Look at some of the greatest coaches in the history of sports...Phil Jackson, Bill Belichick, Pat Riley, Mike Krzyzewski. These men were all at best average players themselves but they have ascended to the greatest heights of the coaching realm. Conversely, look at some of the greatest players in history who have moved into the coaching realm after their playing career...Wayne Gretzky, Isaiah Thomas, Bob Cousy. These men could not replicate the same success.
This gives me hope as my passion and dream is to someday coach sports and (no judgement against self) I was an at best average athlete during my younger days.
Thank you Robert for sharing your wisdom and inspiring men to achieve their full potential.
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