Monday, November 18, 2019

Ontario's First-Year Investment Plan for Students by Samuel Reano

Ontario's First-Year Investment Plan for Students

Samuel Reano

The government of Ontario has decided to invest its money towards your struggles, specifically, those you may experience in math. This investment is beneficial for you because you might not have a parent or a guardian who is strong in math and can tutor you. Not every teacher of yours will sacrifice their free time to help you understand their lessons and homework. The purpose of the investment is to build your confidence in mental math without having to doubt yourself and to help you develop the ability to calculate numerical problems without relying on a calculator. This is in addition to helping you learn the applications of math. There are numerous applications stemming from the subject that we may or may not realize such as time management, finance, and the number of ways one might be able to win in a game. 

At the beginning of a new school year, it is likely that students will forget some or most of their math lessons from the previous school year that are required for this higher level of math. The government of Ontario has decided to give a portion of the investment to start summer programs for students like you so that the math skills you had obtained during the school year remain fresh in your mind. EQAO is a challenge for everyone. When I was in elementary school, Grade 3 and Grade 6 EQAO’s math questions were the hardest to answer. That’s because the majority of the questions were not related to the math lessons I had been taught in class and, consequently, not from the homework questions I’d been assigned. 

In Grade 9, when I took the EQAO numeracy test, the level of difficulty for the questions was fairly high, though lower than those in Grades 3 & 6. Grades 8 and 9 introduced new challenges as a new level of math I had to adapt to. I remember that in the first week of ninth grade math, the teacher had decided to evaluate our existing skills by having us do a diagnostic test. Fortunately, the test was based on grade 7 & grade 8 math. At the end of the first week, the teacher announced the results to the class and I had gotten the highest score. This favourable score was the outcome of the Grade 8-to-Grade 9 math transition program at my elementary school. My grade 8 teacher had led the program because he knew about the struggle students face in the heat of that transition. He tried to make grade 9 math more simplistic and thereby easier for us to learn.

Teachers do care about your success. It’s up to you to show your teachers your full potential. It is common for students to say something along the lines of: “my teacher wasn’t good at teaching math”. The government has listened to your feedback and decided that there will be another qualification process for those applying in the future to teach math at school. With the creation of this process, students will be able to learn from educators who know the subject of math inside-out. As a result, they won’t struggle in EQAO math as well. This investment does not include a clause to take away your free-time but it remains important to recognize that it’s ultimately up to you to continue to improve your skills. You must be ready to respond to the challenges you may face in the future.