Why am I weak in math?

Why so many people are bad at math - an attempt to explain.

I've been doing the job as a math tutor and coach for over 25 years. In the past to supplement my pocket money, later to finance my studies, today with a great team full-time. I've put math fear away from hundreds of high school, college students, and professionals. It was not uncommon for me to be partly responsible for the fact that people who are desperate about mathematics later chose mathematics advanced courses or even studied mathematics.

But what is the real problem? Are the students stupid? Lack of IQ? Idleness? Here is a small attempt to explain:

Sure, there are cases like this, but they make up maybe 3 - 5%. No, the main problem is the way math is taught. It starts with the qualification of the teachers. If I had failed the same exam three times during my studies, I would have been expelled from the university and would never have been able to start studying mathematics at a German university again. Prospective teacher training students have sometimes repeated their exams four or even five times at my university and then just got through. To sum it up in a nutshell. With a few exceptions, the worst of my fellow students became teachers. In the past it was said who will not become (business) landlord - today you become a teacher.

But why is it like that? Let's look back 100 years. Back then, the teacher was a person to be respected. The social standing was high and the pay was good. And today? Today the teacher often serves as the nation's doormat. All deficits in education, behavior and attitude of young people are blamed on the teacher and the school. Now one can argue that teachers earn a lot of money and also have long vacations. In principle that is correct. So the teachers are to blame. Or?

On the other hand: Who volunteers to stand in front of a class with over 30 students? And that in partially run-down buildings with lousy furnishings? The job description of a teacher is a poor alternative to high-paid jobs in business and research. I think the solution looks different. First of all, the teaching profession would have to be made attractive again:

- A performance-based payment, as in business. Otherwise (understandably) the good academics go there and not to the schools.
- Small classes with a maximum of 12 students
- Modernized and well-equipped school buildings
- Regular further training for teachers by experts from the business world
- Restructuring of the teacher training course with more practical parts

Or to put it another way: if Germany wants to have a chance in international comparison in the future, we should invest the last of our resources in the education of future generations. It also requires a rethink in society. The responsibility for education and upbringing does not belong in schools, but in families.

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