Today we started our snow day counting money! Well, my daughter counted while my husband and I supervised. She wanted to know how many coins she had so she could buy something at the American Girl store. (I don’t have the heart to tell her that she is going to be saving a LONG time with that goal in mind.) Anyway, she carefully sorted the coins and started counting.
I proudly watched her make piles of the money and count by fives with a bit of help and reassurance. This experience is especially important because I was bad at Math. From a very young age I was confused and needed tutors to keep up. I vowed that my daughter would not struggle in math if I could do something to help her.
Last year she had a wonderful teacher who embedded math into each day of her preschool experience. I watched day after day as she took polls, used hand made abacus’, and did measurements. This is the story of a teacher who fostered a love of Math in four and five year olds. Do I think this classroom and this teacher biased my daughter? Absolutely! She taught each child in her classroom that Math is everywhere and all you have to do is figure it out. And they did figure it out! These kids were amazing to watch as they worked together to solve problems.
Do I think that the study referenced in this article about how teachers can influence girls as they study Math and Science has merit? Probably. But I also think that there are champions out there who work a little bit harder for our girls and boys. Being a teacher is a hard job, especially with all of the benchmark testing.
My advice to you is talk with your child’s teacher and figure out a way to partner with them. Get involved and talk to your principal if you have concerns. Create experiences at home to foster the love of Math and Science. We all want more girls to be interested in Math and Science!