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She used to hate math, but now she teaches it for a living

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She used to hate math, but now she teaches it for a living

Like so many school-aged children, Saundra Carter hated math growing up. The subject just wasn’t applicable to her life, so she didn’t see the point in becoming a master at it. Fortunately for her, that all changed when she entered 11th grade and was placed in Mr. Frank’s Algebra 2 class.

Carter’s outlook on the world of mathematics changed because her teacher did was so many teachers before him never did: made math matter in Saundra’s day-to-day life. He used real-world situations that 15-year-old children would actually encounter in their time outside of school, rather than hypothetical situations that no real human has ever found themselves in. Using “real-world examples and things kids like “such as sports,” Saundra says, Mr. Frank was able to change her perspective on the subject completely.

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Now, Saundra owns a tutoring business called Math 1 on 1 LLC. The premise is simple: Pass on the excitement for math Saundra had passed on to her that fateful year in high school. In doing so, you’ll help unleash the mathematical wizard hidden in even the most reluctant students.

The Atlanta-based business consists of college students and recent graduates who help tutor children and adults of all ages in the various stages of mathematics. Each student is provided with a two-hour screening process which helps tutors identify strengths and weaknesses pertaining to their mathematical ability. Through careful analysis of a student’s initial performance, an individualized learning plan is created, putting each student on their own path to success. Saundra reports that students’ SAT scores in math increase an average of 50 points after their tutoring sessions are complete.

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Saundra is the author of How to Help Parents and Kids Get Over the Fear of Math, a book with tips for parents and kids who want to get over their fear of math (sorry, I had to!). In all seriousness, the book has gained rave reviews on Amazon, with parents and children alike praising Saundra’s hints and tips that “make the process of learning math easier.” Adults that read it in order to better help their children actually reported that they learned more about a few concepts they thought they had previously mastered. One reader said, “I learned a few new things and refreshed knowledge that has long been dormant.”

Along with helping struggling students through Math 1 on 1 LLC, Saundra also hopes to tackle some of the stigmas surrounding the world of mathematics, like the idea that girls aren’t good at math

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If a girl isn’t good at math, it’s most likely because she was told she isn’t good at math. While it’s no secret that men make up the majority of people working in math-related industries, this is simply because young women are dissuaded from becoming math wizards at the elementary level. A combination of factors affect girls’ interest (or lack thereof) in the world of mathematics, such as the fact that math-related toys and games are usually advertised to boys. Parents and teachers should ensure they don’t unintentionally place gender biases on their children, and give them a choice of what, and how, they want to study.

Some people just “aren’t math people”. This statement piggybacks off of the last point made. So many children (and adults, for that matter) just throw their hands up and say, “I can’t do this.” Of course, nothing can be accomplished with such a negative attitude. Again, this idea of being incompetent in a specific subject or area stems from experiences in childhood in which a teacher may not have given a child enough time or attention to help them understand a certain concept, which led to them falling behind for the remainder of the year. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, in which children who are told they aren’t good at math don’t try to get better, and grow into adults who really aren’t good at it.

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By sharing her story with the world, Saundra aims to eradicate these two misconceptions, and foster a love of math in all children in the Atlanta area and beyond.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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