My little-un knows and loves her mathematical onions. And sometimes, she can be more rigid in her stubbornness than a goat getting stubborn mule-slash-terrier-dog with a bone. Often this is charming and delightful. It can also be irritating and embarrassing. I have known this for a long time.
Her Student Teacher is on a steep learning curve. During a lesson on shapes the little-un said he was mistaken. I question her arguing with a teacher, but question more a teacher ‘Asking Jeeves’ to settle an argument. With a 9 year old. But I digress. Arguments, like shapes, have at least one side.
Another day, another lesson, another shape, another family meal dominated by maths talk. Before worrying about what kind of geek freaks I’m raising: maths doesn’t usually feature round our table, so prominently, nor for so long.
But we all agreed: nothing has no sides. A circle is not a nothing. Therefore it cannot have no sides. Both circles and rectangles feature in some 3D shapes, especially cylinders. Mr Student Teacher made a mistake. His more serious error, in the little-un’s book, was to argue, unconvincingly, otherwise.
Teachers have a tough job: it’s not all short days and long holidays. Teaching is an art. It’s not easy, and it's not for everyone, but done well it is beautiful and inspiring. The little-un knows a beautiful and inspiring teacher when she sees one.
She sees Mr Student Teacher and his math skills differently. Knowing her, I think he may just have a little bitty inkling about this. A quick chat and our usual uber-competent teacher is on the case. She talks the little-un out of losing her love of maths. But the little-un's mistrust grows and is starting to resemble a strong dislike.
Mr Student still teaches. Little-un still moans. I thought he redeemed himself by awarding her ‘star of the week’. Her reponse: ‘he knows I’m better at maths than him’. Hmmm.
It’s the holidays, so I’m the teacher now. This week a little tolerance might be on the cards.
As well as the ole chestnut that is the times tables.