Hiking is a struggle

Struggle and Learning Mathematics

I went for a hike today in preparation for my journey to mathematics. While I have hiked 3 of the 46 Adirondack New York High Peaks, the last time I hiked, was a year ago at Tremont State Park in Ithaca, New York. I am out of shape, but whLabradory is hiking important to learning mathematics? Today, on my hike to Labrador Hollow Unique Area. I wanted to stop after only 5 minutes. My lungs hurt. My feet hurt, and I wondered why I was out in the woods. My body said stop, but my brain said “you came all this way from Oswego to hike with friend, so forget the

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pain and hike”. What does this have to do with learning mathematics? Learning mathematics often requires the type of struggle experienced while hiking. Just as hiking up a mountain requires some physical and mental struggle, learning mathematics can be the same. I believe that if I had understood that struggle was part of the learning process in mathematics, I may have been able to go further in my learning. In my early days of learning mathematics, I did not know that struggle was part of the learning process. I thought that everyone knew more than I did, and I th

ink I stopped learning as much as I could have learned because I though that struggle was a sign of weakness. An important quote from Albert Einstein, “Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I assure you that mine are greater”.

So, if Albert Einstein is quoted as accepting the struggle, my job as a mathematics educator is to help others see that struggle is part of the process. I am proud of my hike today. I had a chance to think about nature and how my work with learning mathematics is a universal struggle. Think about anything that is worth learning. If it comes easily, is it as satisfying as if you have had to struggle? I am not sure. My journey begins as I am reminded about why this work is important.

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