A little while ago, I was working with a fifth grader on a problem that challenged her. In the middle of the problem, she looked up at me, smiled, and said, “I’m struggling, but that’s OK. My teacher told me that mathematicians struggle.”
What an exciting moment! I am so glad that my student has a classroom teacher who is teaching her that struggling doesn’t mean that you’re “stupid,” and to persist in the face of a challenge!
My student also told me that when she was eager to stand up and give the answer to a math problem, her teacher said, “I think I see a mathematician!” I’m thrilled that this teacher is encouraging her students to identify themselves as mathematicians—people capable of deeply engaging with mathematics!
Thank you to Choco Leibniz for creating and sharing this beautiful, inspiring image of mathmaticians! The Famous Mathematicians are from left to right, top to bottom: Euclid, Boole, Al-Kwarizmi, Newton, Leibniz, Turing.