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My math class is making me hate myself.

bella22bella22 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
this will probably come off as rambley, forgive me. I am a sophomore currently taking Algebra 2/Trig, and I hate it. I've always been a B and C student in math, but I'm finding it hard to even get a C in this class. We don't have a textbook, just problem lists so any on-your-own study has to be done by random internet searches. My teacher is unhelpful in class-- all she does is write on the board and lecture, and then give us problems, which I usually don't understand. So the thing to do would be to ask questions, right? But If I ask her a question she huffs and puffs while explaining it, and says things like "you should already know this" and "why don't you understand this" and "we went over this several times" instead of being encouraging or kind. She gets visibly angry/annoyed when I ask for clarifications. As frustrating as she is in class, she's even worse one-on-one. First of all, she only has 40 minute office hours twice a week, during very busy times. When I can go in for office hours, she does the same things she does in class (gets frustrated, makes unhelpful remarks) only there's nobody else to kind of dampen it. I feel stupid, and useless. I end up trying to do the homework when I get home and feeling hopeless and worthless. I try my best at it, but when I return it the next day, I get .5/1 because the only two grades she gives on homework are .5 and 1. The worst part is, she says that she gives full credit for work that looks like you tried, but when I give my best, I do so badly it looks like I didn't try at all. I seriously hate myself in her class, and it makes me wonder if there's any point to taking pre-calc next year or if I should just take Statistics and no math senior year. As hard as I try, I just can't do anything in this class, and with 5 weeks left in the semester I'm worried about keeping my C grade. Any tips would be appreciated. Please don't judge me for being bad at math, or think I don't try.
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Replies to: My math class is making me hate myself.

  • bopperbopper Registered User Posts: 7,556 Senior Member
    I would talk to your parents about this and also maybe your guidance counselor. I find it strange that you don't have a text book. Also talk to the Guidance counselor/Parents about how you ask for help and are not getting it.
    It could be that she is a bad teacher .

    I would suggest looking at Khan Academy for videos on the subject..also see if you can get a tutor at school (National Honor Society usually does tutoring). Also form a study group with other classmates. See if your parents will order you a book where you can do extra problems.
  • Bobbybob444555Bobbybob444555 Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    Algebra 2 is a pretty simple course, I would recommend buying a blitzer book for algebra and trig. What exactly are you having trouble with?
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 2,055 Senior Member
    Algebra and trig are subjects where what you learn this week is high dependent upon what you learned last week and last year. Similarly, what you are going to learn next year is going to be dependent upon what you learned this year. As such, once you start to fall behind it can be very difficult to catch up by yourself.

    Relatively little future work is going to depend much on trigonometry. However, if you have any interest in STEM fields then a LOT (almost everything) is going to depend upon what you learn in algebra.

    As such keeping up is very important. If you have a bad teacher, then it is important to get outside help. A tutor can be very helpful in math. In some cases there might even be another high school student who could be a tutor (and less expensive than a professional tutor). I know of cases of high school teachers (current or former) who do tutoring to augment their salary. There are a lot of tutors, and if one doesn't seem right then you can try a different one.

    From what I have seen and what you have said, "trying hard" is probably not the issue. The issue is most likely related to how you look at problems and how you understand various concepts. If the teacher can't get this across well then you probably need a tutor. I have seen some cases where students could use a tutor for perhaps an hour a week for the full academic year. I have seen other cases where the student figures out in just a few (single digit) hours what they were missing, and then goes on and does quite well.
  • bella22bella22 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    @booper I go to an experimental school, so the math curriculum is one that the department wrote themselves, and there are no written explanations of content, just problems. The curriculum is also very eclectic which is part of what makes this hard-- we have aspects of Algebra 2/Trig/Advanced Geometry/Pre-Calc/Statistics. I will be meeting with my parents and teacher on Monday so that should be good.

    @Bobbybob444555 Thanks for that comment about Alg 2 being pretty simple. Really appreciate it. I'll look into a blitzer book. Most of my troubles lie in trigonometry--remembering identities and the like.

    @DadTwoGirls Yeah, I missed a couple days in January and I think they're still messing me up. I have no desire to go into STEM, the fields I'm most interested in are (art) history, foreign languages, and literature. But I still want to be good at math. I have an interest in philosophy, and I think math can be really cool, I liked it up until this year despite not being great at it. I'm definitely looking into a tutor for these next few weeks.
  • Bobbybob444555Bobbybob444555 Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    @bella22 Just try and get the C. It's pretty easy on basically every grading system. Don't stress yourself out, it's not like you're going to be a math major. Just use slader for hw.
  • VaporeonKidVaporeonKid Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    I'm also a sophomore in high school, and I took Algebra 2/Trig last year -- if you need any help with homework or concepts feel free to PM me! As far as bad teachers go, I definitely understand where you're coming from; I've had my fair share of bad math teachers too.

    What I did was go on Khan Academy (dunno if you've tried this, but it was pretty helpful at explaining concepts for me) then doing problems! Since you don't have a textbook, maybe try googling "____ worksheets" for your concepts and attempting those, before checking your work! Doing problems on Khan can work well too, since it ties up nicely with their explanations. You don't even have to go in order, I have a weird math curriculum and just watched the videos that seemed relevant to my class! A tutor may be good if you've got the resources for that, but good tutors are (in my experience) as hard to cone by as good teachers are, so tread lightly. Find someone with past experience teaching students from your school (preferably) or is familiar with the curriculum in your class.

    Definitely try and push through this year, you don't want to discount math at first sight; it may seem difficult at first, but it indeed is rewarding! (Take this with a grain of salt, I'm a potential math major lol) Best of luck! :)
  • mademoiselle2308mademoiselle2308 Registered User Posts: 372 Member
    If the teacher isn't helpful, consider reaching out to another teacher in the math department. Also, consider forming a study group with your classmates. It's a great opportunity for you to learn the material you're struggling with and a great way for the people who are "getting it" to review the material themselves by teaching.
  • Bobbybob444555Bobbybob444555 Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    @bella22 That cirriculum isn't a big deal. We have that in my school and I'm getting As
  • VaporeonKidVaporeonKid Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    @Bobbybob444555 But not all students are built the same; just because you're getting As doesn't mean there isn't anything wrong about the curriculum. Your achievement doesn't tell us anything about OP's situation -- I don't see your point.
  • HMom16HMom16 Registered User Posts: 297 Junior Member
    In addition to Khan Academy, SchoolYourself has some good videos and info. https://schoolyourself.org/learn
    If you decide to move forward with pre-calc, you may want to pre-take the class online over the summer so that much of the material next year is review. Edx is another good, free, source for math education
    https://www.edx.org/course/precalculus-asux-mat170x
  • Bobbybob444555Bobbybob444555 Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    @VaporeonKid getting a C in an algebra 2 course doesn't look impressive, at all. it is a basic course no matter the curriculum. Trigonometry, elementary statistics and precalculus are no big deal and they should be in algebra 2.
  • Bobbybob444555Bobbybob444555 Registered User Posts: 367 Member
    Not trying to be critical of OP but come on, everybody has tough teachers.
  • VaporeonKidVaporeonKid Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    @Bobbybob444555
    "Getting a C in an Algebra 2 course doesn't look impressive, at all."

    Not all people want to be 'impressive' in math, you can't assume that a C isn't good score in the OP's situation. As @bodangles said, this isn't the place to bash other people for their abilities (or lack thereof). You're not in their position, so telling them to "come on" and buckle up may be a bit insensitive when you don't know the extent of the problem.
  • moosicnerdmoosicnerd Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    If your teachers won't help, take matters into your own hands. Use Khan Academy, since it's a pretty good resource, or see if a friend who understands the concepts can help you.
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