Should students be allowed to use a calculator in school?

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Does kids should use calculators om math classes?
Poll ended at 17 Mar 2019, 7:17 pm
Yes 88%  88%  [ 21 ]
No 13%  13%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 24

Lost_dragon
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29 Dec 2018, 10:01 pm

I remember when I was in Secondary school, my art teacher was rather insistent on two things.

The first was that I had to look him in the eyes whenever I asked a question or listened to his response. At the time I had a deep seated fear of authority due to negative previous experiences, and eye contact with certain teachers as a result was uncomfortable. If I didn't maintain the eye contact enough, he wouldn't answer my questions. Gradually it got easier.

Now, the other rule was that I had to answer his maths questions. Sometimes I required certain measurements for art pieces that I was making at the time, and he'd say "Ah, you'll have to work out *insert question here* for that, so go on". He would wait for the answer, putting me on the spot in front of everyone.

One time a girl next to me was part way through saying the answer when he cut her off and remarked "No, not you, I asked her". She thought it was ridiculous that he kept picking on me, and began to argue with him about it.

"Sir, this isn't maths class, just give her a break" the girl defended. He remained adamant on his stance and started talking about the importance of knowing basic maths in everyday situations. I managed to convince him to let me use a calculator at times.

More often than I'd like, I would find myself in situations where I'd sneak a calculator in or write calculations on my hands below the desk if we weren't allowed to do any physical workings out in certain lessons. In science class, the phrase I feared the most was "Oh, well it appears that we haven't worked out the totals for our science practical, just quickly do that and hand your books in".

8O It was even worse if I was stuck with a strict teacher, because some would refuse to let anyone leave until everyone had written the totals. Others were more lenient and would let us go individually or by table. Depending on the teacher and how much they were paying attention, I'd sometimes manage to give myself extra time.

Now, if the books were handed in by one person per table (and it was the end of the lesson but I still hadn't managed to get all the answers) then I'd collect the other books from our table and add an extra one from nearby. This trick worked even better if it was a book that belonged to a student who didn't show up to the lesson but the person who had handed out the books had placed it where they’d usually sit anyway. I'd put that one at the bottom of the pile and secretly hope that they wouldn't check before letting me leave. Most of the time they didn't, with the amount of books being enough to satisfy them, and I'd walk out with my book in my bag.

The next lesson my teacher would seem confused and announce "Huh, I could've sworn I took your book in to mark last lesson, but when I was grading books I didn't see yours in there :?".

Usually I'd reply by saying something along the lines of "Oh, I must've forgotten to give it in, sorry" or "I saw it on the floor in the hallway, you must've dropped it when you were carrying all those books, so I picked it up to give it to you later". (That one I only used if there was a significant time between sessions, otherwise it'd be too fresh in their memory and I'd risk getting called out on my lies).

Which would lead to a typical response of "Huh, I don't remember doing that, but I did see you give in your book... so I guess I must've done, I was in a bit of rush I suppose" or something.

You may be wondering why I went to such lengths. I mainly did it because otherwise everyone else would dislike me for having to stay behind if they were the type of teacher to keep the class back until every student had finished. The replacement book trick often bought me some time to finish the calculations at home before our next lesson. Sometimes I’d just wing it and put down random numbers and worry about the consequences next lesson, or try to ask a mate for help.

I learnt various tricks to get through school, but sometimes they weren’t enough. There were certain situations where there was no rule stating that we couldn’t use our calculators, but unfortunately it was considered embarrassing to do so. For example, we had to do some simple workings out for a chart in science and I was using a calculator briefly under the desk to work out an equation. It was going fine, until the person next to me decided that it was a great idea to announce to our teacher that I was using a calculator. *Facepalm* WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? *Sigh* Then I sat through a condescending talk from my teacher asking if I was alright, using the kind of voice you’d use to address a very young child.

You see, this is why I tried to hide my issues most of the time. I didn’t want to be treated differently due to my difficulties, sometimes people assume that because I struggle quite severely with maths I’m an absolute moron in general. They see the kind of mistakes I make, and begin to treat me as if I’m a toddler. Please don’t. Just...no. Stop. Other times I get “But, I thought you were smart”.

Although having access to a calculator doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll succeed either, there have been times where I’ve done worse on maths papers which allow calculators than ones that don’t. I remember messing up on questions that we were allowed to use a calculator on in class one time, and my maths teacher got out a calculator that had ridiculously large numbers on and gave it to me as a way to mock me for it. She also called me out in lesson one time for writing numbers down in the wrong order in some of the questions. I have visual processing issues and sometimes when I read numbers they appear in the wrong order. Or I see a plus sign but take it in as a times and so on. Piano notes can switch places on sheet music when I try to read it, which is partly the reason that I gave up on learning how to play. I suppose I could learn by ear one day perhaps. Maybe paint the keys different colours because I always forget which is which whenever I take the labels off. Can never seem to remember where each note is in relation to one another.


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DystopianShadows
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02 Jan 2019, 1:55 am

Not before high school. That's just me, though.


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jimmy m
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03 Jan 2019, 12:00 pm

Lost_dragon wrote:
I remember when I was in Secondary school, my art teacher was rather insistent on two things.

The first was that I had to look him in the eyes whenever I asked a question or listened to his response. At the time I had a deep seated fear of authority due to negative previous experiences, and eye contact with certain teachers as a result was uncomfortable. If I didn't maintain the eye contact enough, he wouldn't answer my questions. Gradually it got easier.

Now, the other rule was that I had to answer his maths questions. Sometimes I required certain measurements for art pieces that I was making at the time, and he'd say "Ah, you'll have to work out *insert question here* for that, so go on". He would wait for the answer, putting me on the spot in front of everyone.


Teachers have their quirks. I remember in drafting class, I had a teacher who took role call each class. When he called my name, I would say "here", like every other boy. He didn't like the way I pronounced "here" so he would pretend I didn't say it or he would mock the way I said it. This went on for several minutes back and forth. He would call my name and I would answer. He would call my name again and I would answer again. After a few weeks, I changed my response. He would call my name and I answered "Present". It caught him by surprise. So after that, it was no longer a problem.



cemil
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09 Jan 2019, 7:29 am

Only be allowed in college and beyond tbh..