It starts with the voice, the voice inside your head. The voice tells you “I can” or “I can’t” and often in the realm of learning math the latter often rules the day. The voice says “I can’t learn math” which implies “I can’t be someone’s math hero”. I heard an amazing story from Jeremy Cowart (@jeremycowart) that helped me see the power of reprogramming that inner voice.
Believing “I can”
Jeremy Cowart heard the “I can’t” voice when he was a kid. As he shared in his message at North Point Community Church (@NorthPoint), he heard the “I can’t” voice loud and clear throughout his life. But it was his Dad who hammered away at him with “I can” messages, specifically “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Jeremy began to believe that he had the gifts and abilities to do something great. Eventually he became one of the most influential photographers in the world. He then started to use his gifts to help others, by taking portraits of those in need and then leading others to do the same. He is leading others to use their gift of photography to help others through Help Portrait (@HelpPortrait). But he didn’t stop there. The “I can” voice was so loud in Jeremy’s head that he now has an incredible vision of a hotel, The Purpose Hotel (@thepurposehotel), where every aspect of the hotel would be a way to benefit others in the world. A vision that is slowly being realized.
Believing “I can learn math”
If we let the “I can’t” voice stop us then we will never be able to share “you can” with others. By turning an “I can’t” into an “I can” Jeremy is now influencing people around the world to love others through the gifts they have been given.
So the path to becoming someone’s math hero starts in your head. When it comes to learning math rather than telling yourself “I can’t”, start telling yourself “I can”…
I can learn math
which leads to
I can help my children learn math OR I can help my students learn math
And if you teach teachers of mathematics
I can help my teacher candidates teach math for conceptual understanding
But then what?
The mission of Amidon Planet is to help people love others through the teaching and learning of mathematics. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a teacher of teachers the hope is that you see Amidon Planet as a source for finding ways to love your child, student, students, or teachers through the teaching and learning of mathematics. So stay tuned to this website and follow Amidon Planet on Twitter to stay informed and inspired through the content that is posted.
In the meantime, feel free to answer this reflection question in the comments: