### Faith In Chaos

$\bullet$A math in the movies piece in today’s +Plus; my movie post of a couple weeks ago.

1. David

I’m the David who commented on Isabel’s blog. Why do you hope that I am kidding about quitting my day job to teach 3rd and 4th graders?

2. David

Actually, I just thought about it a little more, and had to reread the ‘First they came for …’ poem again to refresh myself. My guess is that you are saying that it is long past time for idle outrage.

I have written a couple of times on Isabel’s blog about a recent challenge that I had working on some trigonometry problems. The teacher hadn’t done much to drill home how and why the problems were applied. I had 22 minutes to rebuild her understanding of it (she had the technical parts down, so it wasn’t a complete rebuild, more of an overhaul).

I actually do teach some. I am an adjunct at the city campus of a small, local state college, and I run about a dozen kids a semester through Elements of Statistics. I mostly get kids who are sociology majors or something like that, for whom this is a common choice to satisfy general education requirements.

The kids I get are by-and-large ill-equipped to do the problems that I give them when we start. But last semester, the best student told me late in the term that she had NEVER done well in math. She had a little trouble with the first quiz, but caught on to the problem solving, and she was pretty excited to finally get it. It’s fun and gratifying.

The comment about third and fourth graders was specific to my experience. My wife subs for a local school system and she is astounded by the level of social distraction that 7th-12th graders. So, that is out for me. If I were going to quit my day job, third and fourth graders are prime for teaching, and where I would head. There isn’t the selection bias that you would get from teaching higher up the educational ladder. [I tell my wife that math is a descriptive language, and you learn it like any other; I sucked at long division and diagramming sentences, and I don’t think that that is a coincidence].

You probably know all of this. So, the point of this comment, really, is to assure you that I’m not waiting for the Antimath-Nazis to come for me. Vive la Revolution!

3. the comment thread david refers to is here.

i was responding to “yer killing me
with the posts on secondary education”;
i thought—evidently in error—david
was indicating that he would have preferred
that God Plays Dice discuss only
“higher-level” maths (& i took the bit