[Numeracy 50] Re: Hello

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Mary Corso akamarilynmary at gmail.com
Sun Jan 24 14:51:38 EST 2010

Hello Kathryn, I also work in a correctional setting where you teach to the
needs of the student even though it may not be the teachers forte. I too
would like to learn some strategies in teaching basic math that would reduce
stress levels in learners as well as myself. I believe that there is a math
learner in all of us! Mary

On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 12:40 PM, Kathryn Baxter <kbaxinva at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello group! My name is Kathryn Baxter, and I have very little in common

> with most of you, but I am eager to find out more about your ideas for

> making Math less anxiety-producing. You see, I am a math phobic who teaches

> Math. Through a series of events (isn’t that just the way life goes?), I

> find myself, after 20+ years of teaching ESL and Remedial English in

> Community College and in High School, now a teacher of GED/ABE in a

> correctional facility in a small town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

> (about 60 miles West and 50 years behind Washington DC).




> As a high school drop out, I managed to avoid complicated math even as I

> got my GED, went to university and achieved BA and MA in various fields

> (Linguistics, Education, International HRD), and lived out my life into the

> mid 50’s where I now find myself. Math is something I have consciously

> eschewed except when forced into it – like doubling recipes and figuring out

> how much of a tip to leave. I get glassy eyed and slightly nauseated when

> it goes beyond that. However, here I am, in the jail, trying to be

> comforting and positive about the experience, leaning heavily on the skills

> of student/inmate tutors who, as it turns out feel rewarded by being chosen

> to help their math-deficient teacher.




> Anyway, long story short, I am already learning that I am not alone in this

> math-anxious state, and secretly, I am beginning to feel the pleasure in

> working out problems and seeing that I am RIGHT! I think as an individual

> who has overcome obstacles in my past and achieved a measure of success, I

> can draw on those experiences and believe that I can do this too. So much

> of the struggle with my students comes from their inability to believe that

> they can do much of anything successfully. Little rewards along the way

> --quizzes you know they’ll ace, elementary computer programs *that don’t

> look elementary* that allow them to work out the problem alone and get the

> “green light” when they get it right – seem to help.




> I am looking forward to learning from you~! Thanks for inviting me.




> Kathryn Baxter


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