New Year, Better Being – The Suffolk News-Herald
By QuaWanna Bannarbie
School resumes, the vacation holidays being over. Before winter break started, my second-year student was studying two-digit addition and subtraction problems.
When he got back to school we had to do some refreshments to remind him how to do this math, which meant that now I was taking a lesson in new math terminology. I was introduced to the term “grouping,” which involves numbers greater than 10. The basis of grouping requires understanding place values when adding or subtracting numbers to complete the vertical addition equation. using columns. Children of my generation and up learned this by “carrying or borrowing” the number from one column to another. Imagine me sitting next to my son trying to help him using terminology he is used to while remembering terms that taught me how to solve the same problems. New math seems to be the journey of this pandemic parenthood. Mothers and fathers are using new methods to help our children adjust to their new reality.
My son’s regrouping math problems taught me a lesson, which inspired a message for this New Year.
As we plan our resolutions, we often reflect on what happened in the past year and how we will adjust our actions and intentions to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. For 2022, I’ve heard several posts about what to leave behind. Our nation’s retrospective on the events of 2020 and 2021 and this long-standing pandemic is dismal because they were so hard to bear. We are happy to leave it behind. However, the start of the year is not a blank slate.
In order to learn from the sum of 2020 and 2021, we need to do some consolidation. We need to know what to remember and what to borrow from the trip of the past two years. Some of these experiences and lessons are of greater place value than others. A good mathematician precisely adds components to the function to get the next right solution.
One of the worksheets my son’s teacher gave him explained a bit about how to group together when the same number is in place. For example, any number added to 29 or 79 would force it to regroup at the tens position. He mastered the task until the next worksheet changed the numbers that were in place of ones. He had gotten so used to seeing the 9th that the new issues actually slowed him down. The change helped him get better. He trained himself to calculate the result rather than depending on the familiar. This pandemic has taught us that we cannot depend on the familiar and that normalcy does not last. It can be good.
I’ve seen the slogans for 2022 that say New Years, even me. I would disagree with staying the same. Whatever new thing you are facing right now, a new SUM THING is taking hold within you. The evolution is a function of the addition. We are destined to evolve. The best of us improve in response to inputs from our individual experiences. The result of our learning and development is a novelty that brings us closer to the fullness of our being. Let us resolve that this year will be better than the previous ones because we will come together to find out what makes us better.
QuaWanna Bannarbie is a teacher, writer and affirmer of faith, identity, relationships and experiences. Connect with her via firstname.lastname@example.org.