Teaching Math and Learning Confidence

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


It’s 7:00, an obnoxiously humid Thursday evening. After 8 hours at school, and 5 at work, I am frankly exhausted: ready to relax, finish my homework, and watch the Texans game. As I open the front door, ready to get a quick start on my tasks, I am greeted by the angry shouts of my father and younger brother in a heated argument over my brother’s Geometry Test Review. This was not a new or surprising occurrence: almost daily, I would come home to a shouting match that would ultimately end with me taking over as tutor and being forced to reteach the entire concept. Tonight was no different. After the review was finally complete and my brother appeared to have a sound understanding of the subject, I could finally worry about myself. It was now dark, the football game I had waited all week to watch was all but over, and I hadn’t even started my work.

And I wasn’t even mad.

As the oldest of four, I have been my family’s designated “Homework Helper” for as long as I can remember. Beginning in 3rd grade, my nights were spent helping my little brother with whatever he was struggling with in school, while my parents tended to my very young sisters. Though I sometimes expressed frustration over my brother’s struggle with seemingly...

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