Sometimes it's hard to learn something new. Sometimes we push our kids to learn something new before they are ready because we have outside pressures to push them or we have our own internal reasons.
The other day I had THREE kids having a little trouble with math. They were discouraged. I tried to explain their subjects a few different ways, didn't act frustrated, but they are always harder on themselves than I could ever be.
Then, for EACH OF THEM, it just clicked. When that happens, I tear up a little bit.
Take place values with Michael. When he finally got it, I knew it because of the look on the face and the way he looked at the problems on the computer (we use some ixl.com because they generally enjoy it and I teach WITH it). He was then whizzing through the problems and tears came down my face. I joked to him that I had something in my eye, that I have allergies or something. He grinned; he was on to me.
I have to give a lot of credit to school teachers. It would be hard to attempt to have 25 kids "get it" at roughly the same time. Hard? Try impossible. Well, not really. I had a teacher in 10th grade who waited until EVERYONE got it before moving on. It was a little frustrating for those who got it the first time, but it taught everyone patience and how to be kind to others instead of making fun of them for being "stupid" at math.
I used to say I was BAD AT MATH. Now as I teach it I realize I am not bad at math! I just didn't learn it my way, at my pace. Now that I am re-learning things, it's clicking and I'm enjoying it. More importantly, I'm enjoying teaching it to my kids in fun and varied ways.