Sunday, 22 June 2014

Statistics are actually pretty cool...

Throughout my own schooling, mathematics have never been one of my strong points. One particular maths teacher once told me that because I didn't show that I could do it then I would never achieve anything in life. Now while it's great to live your subject and think that its an important aspect to daily life... I would never tell a kid in my class that because they couldn't do x in English.. they wouldn't succeed in life.

Interestingly enough, my passion to show her I could do life better was portrayed in every other subject than hers. When I got my degree I remember feeling this old anger reflame and felt the need to show off to her that I had succeeded despite not being 'good' at maths.  And despite the fact that she wasn't anywhere near my graduation... I still felt the need to say in my head.. "See.. I can achieve."

Isn't it more interesting then that one of the best observations I've ever done was watching a maths class. I saw how a more positive teacher encouraged her students and how she related everything they were learning to her students. There wasn't any random trains or lollies eaten by a mammoth kid and not shared with her friends. Instead she taught them volume by getting her students out of the classroom and measuring the shed that needed to house the rugby posts so that they could be re-painted. She taught them area this way as well.

My favourite aspects of Maths were always the ones other kids didn't enjoy.. like algebra and triganometry. I liked to do estimations and predictions and testing out my theories. I liked that one where you test on how many times the dice will roll a four. And liked learning about different travel times and time zones and roman numerals because they had an impact on travelling. Because the majority of the kids didn't enjoy it or that they took a while to get it, they'd be spoonfed the formulas and we'd move onto the next topic.

One of my worst moments in schooling was that when I got my tonsils out I didn't go back to school for ages. I don't know why now though. But from that massive gap in my learning... might have only been 2 weeks but to an 8 year old it seems like a lifetime from her favourite teacher.. I missed out on learning how to tell the difference between analogue and digital time. The other part is not ever getting the chance to relearn the timestables as I was always too shame to show that weakness.

So since then.. I made it an effort to never tell people I sucked at maths, and instead focussed on making others appreciate what I was good at. In a way I had a very fixed mindset about my ability in maths.

Eventually I got proud of my failure in maths and would laugh it off. Particularly when put into the 'cabbage' maths class for remedial maths.

Because I had already switched off to learning in maths, I have no idea whether my later maths teachers tried to reengage me or use more relative means to teach me better.

If they had asked me how many potatoes would I need to peel to feed my family for dinner or asked what size chicken would suit a couple or one person, or asked the different quantities it took in order to make a cake or scones.. all of which were ways my Nana was teaching me about maths through baking and cooking.

Or if they had said what kind of hook would you need and what density of fishing line and what style of rod you would need in order to make sure that ever elusive kingfish would not break the hook, line or rod... or asked what size sinker you'd need to avoid getting caught in the weeds at the bottom of the ocean when trying to catch multiples of pipers for bait.. or if they had asked how long it would take to drain a car of oil during a oil change.. things I learnt from my mum and Grandad.

Perhaps I would have a better understanding of maths.

Regardless to all of that. This post was merely to talk about how cool the statistics were on the Blogger dashboard around the many hits my blog gets. It shows where you guys are when reading this (just the country) and also the links you use in order to get here to read it. And it also shows the different browsers you guys use... not surprisingly a larger number of Chrome users out there!

There had been a huge surge in the past four months of people reading my blog and I've loved watching the graphs showing the amount of you reading it and the logs of which blog was read more.

My next job is to have a good look at these stats and figure out what kind of posts you guys like the most.. by learning how to analyse the data I'll be able to not only see the style of writing that appeals to most but it might also show the kind of things I talk about that shows my passion and I wonder whether this has made an impact on my readers.

So a huge thanks to all of you. Would love your comments and your G+'s and adding me to your circles... or even a continued added hit to the site makes me happy as it shows me that you guys are reading. And that what I have to say is readable, important or even worth looking at. And that means alot. Thankyou :)


  1. You're not alone!! I was telling one Maths teacher friend that I actually had a use for Maths now! :) And I had a realisation earler in the term - when we were doing growth vs fixed mindset - that I was going to have to learn maths! (There's only one way I know how to lead, and that's by example. If I want my kids to grow, I need to too!)

  2. Totally agree Toni!! That growth mindset is so important. :) Thanks for the comment :)