I’ve shared in previous articles some of my college class challenges. Currently, I am tackling beginning algebra. Initially, I had enrolled in pre-algebra but the class was cancelled. I haven’t had math since I was 14. I got a C in basic math back then.

Now, I am being exposed to pies, squares, cubes, shapes and letters. It is overwhelming. I am soon to be 55 years old and have gotten by without it just fine. I have been utilizing the tutoring center. These young people are smart. I am very thankful for the service. I would not be able to finish the class without them.

What confuses me the most about algebra is that the rules change depending on the question. Signs change. Numbers that were up go down. Processes of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division change. My thought process about whoever invented algebra is “make up your mind”.

The tutors are great but I can’t help wondering sometimes if they are thinking, “Is she really this stupid?”. If any of them plan to be teachers one day, I hope they will notice common areas where people struggle and think of ways to be an encourager. One day, there will be kids in their classrooms with the same struggles.

I don’t comprehend algebra but have had a good career and luckily, graduated from college before current requirements were implemented. I even finished college without a computer. Imagine that. Back then, we read real books, typed on typewriters and used telephones on the wall. We came from a different generation.

The kids in schools today may struggle with academic topics but be talented in art, music, sports, speaking or writing. Those learning a new language as well have an additional challenge. They also are challenged with large class size and less one-on-one attention.

For the future teachers of America, make the choice to teach because you love helping others learn, no matter their challenges. I’ve mentored young people in the community not with academics but encouragement in general. The kids in my life have been refugees, homeless, from other countries and in my neighborhood. Each had challenges of their own and I helped any way I could. I believe I made a difference.

We all learn differently and have something to offer. We can learn from each other. The classroom is only the beginning. After graduation is where the adventure begins.