Mr. Lindow’s calculation

Mr. Lindow, Teacher

“When will I ever have to use this?”  is a question I asked my teachers many times back in my student days.  Partially I was challenging my teachers, but mostly I really wanted to know.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that the answer to the question was more complex than I was ready to handle.

As an 8th grade math teacher, I have an easy time answering the “When will…” question.  All topics can be used in future science, math, tech, or business classes. Many of our topics can be used in adult everyday living.

More and more employers in the US are hiring workers from other countries that have stronger math backgrounds than our own graduates”

The topics learned in higher level math classes help CFHS prepare students for a technology driven world.  More and more employers in the US are hiring workers from other countries that have stronger math backgrounds than our own graduates.

The thought processes used in problem solving can be used in the “real world”.  We may need to solve problems like keys locked in a car, clean up after a tornado, preparing for a river that is rising to flood level, how much fertilizer to purchase for our lawn, and many more.  Since we are not able to teach problem solving for every life situation, we try to help students develop a thought process that can be used in any of those situations. I recall when an attorney was asked, ‘What was the most important class you took in high school to prepare for your law career?”  He answered, “Math”. He probably didn’t factor binomials, determine any derivatives, or solve a system of inequalities, but the thought processes that were being fostered in high school math helped him analyze and develop strategies for his cases.

When I was young, my dad taught me how to use a hand saw to cut wood.  As I got older, he taught me how to use an electric circular saw. I could have continued to get through life and complete wood projects with the hand saw, however, I chose to use the electric version.  This transition was a significant upgrade in terms of accuracy and efficiency. The same could be said for many things we learn in high school. If we have tools such as upper level math in our tool box, we have a chance to use them.  Those tools can be used to flourish instead of merely survive, allowing us to come alive and make a positive impact on the world.

In addition to the subject matter CFHS students learn, I hope they are learning traits such as discipline, determination, curiosity, problem solving, and communication.  Citizens who possess those characteristics make a positive contribution to society.