I am not a big fan of studies. It seems like there is a new one every day, and the new study often contradicts the one released the day before. There may be something to this one about teachers passing anxiety about math on to their students. Teachers, I have learned, have a dramatic impact on how students learn and whether they learn. If they have high expectations, students tend to meet those expectations. Trouble is, teachers, consciously or subconsciously, don’t have the same expectations for boys and girls. Studies also have shown — and I believe this — teachers don’t have the same expectations for their black, Asian and Hispanic students. I don’t think anyone expected much out of me when it came to math, and I didn’t do well. I didn’t shy away from math in high school, but I struggled. When it came time to pick a major in college, I chose one that required only one math course. I am going to make a point of not passing my history with math onto Simone and Nadia. I also will keep an eye on their teachers, because I don’t want anyone to limit what they can do.
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