I have sat back and listened to middle school students complain and worry that they were not going to be prepared for high school. I am here to tell you that you are absolutely ready for life outside of Golden Valley. In fact, I believe that your math teachers have given you all you need to know to navigate life. This is what you are walking away with:
- Sometimes you don’t have all the information. Solving a math equation is hard when you don’t have all the factors required. The same goes for life’s problems. If you don’t have all the factors required to solve the problem, it can be very hard and frustrating. You may need to do some searching and rearranging in order to find the information you need to continue.
- There is more than one way to solve a problem. Life rarely gives you black and white choices. You will find yourself having to choose between multiple good options.
- Trial and error is a great strategy-confused? Try a simpler problem, or come back to the problem later. In life, this can allow you to focus on what is challenging and consider only the essentials.
- The details matter! A forgotten negative sign or a miscalculation can lead to the completely wrong answer. Pay attention to life’s details.
- You may not know where to begin, and most of the time, you can’t predict where you’ll end up. Just go for it—you’ll figure out the rest along the way.
- If the problem is too challenging, start small. If you are overwhelmed, just take it a step at a time.
- Staring at a question usually doesn’t lead to enlightenment. Ask for help from those around you. Stop for directions. Lean on your friends and family. Knowing what you don’t know is important and useful.
- You will make mistakes. Even the great mathematicians need to rework problems over and over. Failure isn’t the end. If you get the wrong answer, keep trying.
- The answer may be simple, but the steps to get there might not be. Some math problems require pages of work to reach a simple answer. Even if you have a goal in mind, the journey there won’t always be easy.
Equations need to be balanced-life is the ultimate word problem. Whether you are balancing friends, school, family, sports or volunteering, remember to keep your life balanced--when you change one part of the equation, other parts must adjust as well. Make time for the things you love and keep adjusting.
- Circle your answers! Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take time to celebrate even life’s small successes.
- It can be challenging. Math can be challenging and occasionally be frustrating. Likewise, life will get tough, but stay patient, be resilient, meet challenges, and it will pay off.
So, as you can see, your math teachers are sending you off with a lot of lessons to help you navigate life outside of Golden Valley. I am sure you have gleaned even more life lessons from all of the amazing classes and experiences here at Golden Valley. It has been my pleasure working with each one of you. I hope you feel that this sassy and proudly nerdy teacher has given you something to walk away from this school feeling proud about. You have certainly given me many, many things to be proud about.
Your Math Teacher,