A little back story: I have an 8th grader in one of my 8th grade math classes who used to HATE math. She still might, but she doesn’t say it as much anymore. I had her last year as a 7th grader and met with her and her mom at the beginning of last year to talk about how horrific her 6th grade year was and to give me a heads up about her fear/disdain of math. Anyways, last year at spring conferences I briefly talked with her mom and she thanked me because she hadn’t heard any complaints about math class the entire year, which apparently was a huge improvement over the previous year.
So today in class she called me over while they were doing some partner work and out of the blue asked me, “Is there math involved in EVERY job?” I laughed said told her that lath was involved with life in general in many ways. Then she asked, “So do I like, have to major in math in college?” I again laughed (mostly because of the dread in her voice as she asked me) and said, “No, but no matter what you major in you WILL have to take some math classes in college, so you’ll have that to look forward to (sarcastically).” She thought for a moment and then said, “Yeah but then you won’t be my teacher.” I can’t exactly explain the way she said it or the look on her face, but she said it in such a way that it made me feel great inside. I could tell that she actually enjoys my class and I have been able to connect with her and (hopefully) at least somewhat lessen her absolute hate for math. It was a nice moment that I’ll remember for a long time. Things like this are my favorite part of teaching, hands down.