A Math teacher from a private school in New York City referred an 8th-grade student, Audrey, who was experiencing some challenges in Algebra I and Geometry, to Teacher Cathy. Audrey had high cognitive skills and was a quick learner. Although she was a very intelligent and diligent student, she needed to fill the gaps in her math to maintain her overall excellent academic standing in class.
Any child is innately born with different types and degrees of intelligence. In recognizing one's intelligence, it can be nurtured by improving or learning more skills for greater strengthening.
In the case of Audrey, she was a highly linguistic student but she needed a little support in her logical-mathematical intelligence. Audrey and Teacher Cathy worked together on a weekly basis for an hour to improve her level of confidence. They regularly reviewed the assigned math concept in Audrey’s class and they consolidated her conceptual understanding of the topic. Through her weekly oral reasoning, she further improved her mathematical comprehension. As they established a safe, trusting relationship, Audrey also gained confidence. It was evident in the sixth months of working together, her representation, problem solving, and reasoning skills had steadily developed. To maintain Audrey’s math performance, Teacher Cathy continued to work with her the following year when Audrey transferred to a Day School.
At the end of Audrey’s 9th grade, Teacher Cathy accepted her first international teaching post in England. It was evident that her steady relationship with Audrey benefited the student and she progressed independently after Teacher Cathy left New York.
Cathy’s work made a great deal of difference for my daughter. Her teachers noticed a very big leap in her understanding of math concepts within her eighth grade year. She was able to apply those concepts to Geometry with Cathy’s help and then move on to a point where she has the confidence to work independently in Algebra 2. (Audrey's father, 1998)
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*Names have been changed in the story for anonymity.