Teaching Calculus to A “D” Math Student

The circumstances that lead me to teaching the tenacious Michelle are completely unexpected.  If Don Cohen the Mathman had not invited me to join Facebook, I still would not be a member.  But I did join and I find that it’s a good tool for encouraging my students even after they no longer need me for math.  So Facebook isn’t so bad and maybe I SHOULD check out this Twitter thing because, ya know, your business won’t go anywhere with out a blog of some kind.  So I joined that, too.  It took me a while to figure out the whole thing.  As it turns out the Twitterverse (all the Twitter people) is very helpful and I was following and being followed in no time.

Michelle declares that she has always been a “D” math student.

So Kris Colvin follows me and I’m wondering why a design person is interested in following a math tutor but wasn’t brave enough to ask.  Some time passes and Kris says that if anyone needs writing done, to talk to Michelle.  I do need some writing done for my site, so I contact Michelle.  We hit it off very nicely as I explained what I do and what I need (in case you didn’t know, I’m a math and calculus tutor and run a kid’s calculus program).  Michelle declares that she has always been a “D” math student all the way through college.  ( Here’s that odd behavior of fearlessly admitting that one is terrible at math but the same person would NEVER admit the same deficiency in reading! By the way, Michelle reading skills are tops.)  OK, so she’s very bad at math.  I find it extremely hard to believe.  Anyone talking to Michelle for a short time would come to the conclusion that she is one sharp cookie.  She’s very good at what she does now but would much rather have gone into socially if it hadn’t been for those stinky statistics.

After discussing the terms of our contract, I make a deal with Michelle:  I will teach calculus to her on the condition that she blog about it.  She had to share her feelings and emotions about learning a scary subject like calculus.  She quickly agreed.  I hoped she wouldn’t regret it later and back out.  This would be a fantastic opportunity to show that any reasonably intelligent person can learn calculus if taught using Don Cohen’s methods.

Out first lesson was on March 5.  One month later, I think it’s fair to say that Michelle is having as much fun as I am.  Each post so far has made me laugh out load.  I hope you will follow along with her on her “journey from frightened to fearless“.

Hopefully you will be inspired to learn or at least explore the math/trigonometry/calculus you were told or thought you couldn’t.  If you need help getting started, contact us anytime:  EMAIL, phone: 816.560.8098.

CORRECTION:  Kris Colvin led me to Adelle Charles who led me to Michelle.

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