Photo of shuttle heading into space. Booster rockets are labelled FRCC.

I once had an algebra teacher in high school say to me, “If you haven’t figured it by now then you don’t get it and you never will.” Consequently, I gave up on algebra, without ever having a chance of getting anywhere with it, or achieving my dreams that required it. After that, I drifted on and graduated from high school. However, it has taken me ten years to realize just how wrong this educator was and how strongly I disagree with him.

We all start in kindergarten with a curiosity of our universe and desire to learn.

Somewhere between then and high school some people lose that desire. It is replaced with a hatred for school and aversions to learning. Most people come to believe they are bad at a subject or school altogether. Their self-esteem takes a hit due to the lack of individual help with things some perceive they cannot learn. Most people react by avoiding those classes and trying to save their own self-image by devaluing that subject. For example, I can’t remember how often I thought algebra was “stupid.”

There is no one size fits all in education.

By the time I graduated high school, I was convinced I was terrible at algebra and had no hope of ever accomplishing anything with it. In reality, I had teachers who were not prepared to teach the class in a way every student could relate to – I know I could not. When dealing with education, there is no one size fits all because one teacher does not teach the same way another teacher does. This disconnection within my education caused my view of my own limitations to narrow even more.

Learning what it means to never give up.

However, in my ten years away from school, I learned something of what it means to never give up. Just because something seems absolutely unexplainable doesn’t mean there is no logical explanation behind it, or that you can never understand it. Even when you don’t understand things, with an inquisitive mind, and a willingness to accept that you might not have (or can’t grasp) all the answers yet, you know the answers are out there. That creates a mental image which launches you forward instead of driving you back. You have to believe in yourself and that it’s possible for you to accomplish anything!

Encouraging independent thought & critical thinking.

Education is a launch pad to the stars, and FRCC is the star-ship of my intergalactic quest for knowledge. At FRCC, classes have been taught in a more interrelated way. My classes have been interactive and encouraging of as much independent thought and critical thinking as possible, giving me new ways to learn while feeding my confidence.

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