Friday, April 13, 2007

To year 9 and beyond....

... i.e and year 9 only. Last time I'd stopped at maths before Year 9, and so obviously now I'm going to continue from there.

I had been hoping to write about year 9, 10 and 11 in one post but it seems that year 10 and 11 warrant there own post. Mainly because otherwise this post will become unbelievably long and might scare some of you! You know how I can't keep to one topic and certain memories seem to spring from no where!

As I've previously mentioned on a number of occasions, the only time I recall ever 'hating' maths was in year 9. I'm not sure whether 'dislike' is the better word. That just doesn't have the same vibe to it, although on numerous occasions I have been told that 'hate' is too strong a word! Now don't get me wrong, I didn't hate Maths the subject. And the amount of 'hate' I recall feeling could be said is infinitesimal! Nevertheless that small feeling of not liking maths existed, and since that feeling only ever surfaced once, it's a bit hard to forget.

I was 13 (in the real world) and looking forward to year 9, as you do. You're no longer in year 8 obviously and year 9 was the year when you feel that you're 'invincible'. Well that can be said for quite a few of my classmates! Anyway, we were doing exams called SATs in year 9 (Key Stage 3 exams) and obviously these exams were of uttermost importance to the teachers. I was also pretty concerned about them since they were external exams and they always seem to matter more. Now the scene has been set. Year 9 was going to be a preparation for the SAT examinations.

Once again Ali and Trevor were in my maths class. My previous reservations of Trevor had now disappeared and we became good friends. We're quite similar you see and we realised that we work better as a team, rather than opposite sides (thanks to some history presentations and debates. Although I must comment I think the teacher gave both of our groups equal marks as a peace treaty!). However in year 9 it was Annie who now sat next to me in maths. Yes, another maths boffin. :D Ali was close by as well, just separated by a desk and Trevor sat at the front somewhere. Our year 9 maths teacher had a reputation for being strict. However like I said, we were in year 9 so we didn't really give that much of a damn... at first. The only teacher who I was 'scared' of was bleeding Darth Vader. Unfortunately I had her again in year 9, and maybe we did put our differences behind us, but still whenever I used to see her I had the 'you didn't do a good thing to me' look on my face'! (Although I confess I had another run in with her. :\).

So Mrs W. had a rep. We wanted a rep. Did we get one? Well all I can say is that any thoughts that we had had about invincibility soon vanished. We were now terrified of her. You know like in the poem 'The Vultures', Mrs W sometimes used to show us a different person, however it didn't last long! She'd taught my sister which made it all the worse for me. She knew my dad as well! Darth Vader was no longer number 1 bad guy -it was the emperor all along!

So what's this got to do with maths I hear you ask. (I have super sensitive hearing when I want to!). Well I'm getting to the reason why I didn't like maths. Initially all my teachers start out as friends. However, some become not good friends whilst others become the bestest of friends (teachers be afraid!). Now I'm lucky that if I didn't like the way a teacher taught, I never treated them differently outside class. I was scared of Mrs W (I think she secretly enjoyed this fact) but when I wasn't hiding from her, I always used to say 'Good morning' and joke around with her like I do. I just want to establish that I never hated her. Can't remember any teacher that I've hated. I just sometimes hate the way they teach! :o

Hopefully by now you all know that I'm pretty teacher dependent. I find motivation from my teachers and encouragement to succeed. But motivation is important and how the teacher gets you working. Mrs W used to spend a lot of time talking about 'Xylem and Phloem' her two sons as named by the class! They were the same age as us, however whilst us thickos were doing the level 5-7 paper they were going to be doing the level 8 paper! Not a very good way to get your class working I must say. I can't remember the 'want' to finish the exercise before Ali or Annie ever existed in year 9. (yes Annie was in Ali's league). Since I can't remember it I'll conclude that it didn't exist. The most I remember about them maths lessons was getting moved a lot, being shouted at, not being able to ask questions, threatened with detention all the time etc.

Now I didn't do as well as I would have liked to in my SATS. I can't believe that English- the subject which I had been failing- was the one I got the highest in! Didn't deserve to do well I suppose but my results were 'respectable' which was a relief. On one occasion I had bumped into my teacher from year 8 and that had been a sad moment indeed. I had wished that I'd been in a set lower just so that I could be taught by her! Now I've obviously attempted to 'tone' down that hate, because I've since realised that I'm glad that I had that experience so to speak and wasn't put of maths. Trevor, Ali and Annie all beat me in the end of year exams which was slightly painful - all because of Loci. (the end of year exams determine which set we're in next year).

Due to the fact that I didn't like going to my maths lessons, I guess I probably didn't take much maths in. My Dad was obviously around to teach me long division and a few other snippets but I obviously was glad to have survived the year 9 experience in one piece. Seriously though I can't recall 'hating' maths after year 9! However, Year 10 was altogether a different story. A better one.

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