Hello All, I have a learning disability in math. I have dealt with it pretty well when I was in college, and developed methods to help me learn & retain information. However, the prospect of teaching math is giving me nightmares. I know with hard work I will be able to come up with methods similar to those I had in college, but I am terrified of being "outed" like some kind of fake teacher! I keep having nightmares where I am running to get a calculator for the simplest sums and cannot answer questions about math! Are there any subjects that you are not "strong" in? How did you cope? Anybody out there with a LD too?

What grade do you teach? In 4th grade this is a potential advantage. Being able to relate and consider the difficulties of your students is huge.

Applying for Elem Edu for Spring 2014. I'll be immersed for my whole program, and probably teaching for at least 2 semesters. I'd like to teach 4-6.

I am HORRIBLE at math. I suspect I have a true learning disability in math, but I was never tested in school. I am better at teaching math than anything else. I can sort of trouble shoot where there problems might be, because I have the same issues. You'll be fine.

Math is not my strongest subject. That did help when I was an inclusion teacher in a couple of math classes. I could really help the students because we could work through the problems together.

How do you deal with students asking questions? Do you ever get stuck? I can't do any math in my head at all, so I will need to use a calculator all the time, but I don't necessarily want to teach my kids that grabbing the calc is OK all the time... Freaking myself out again!

I'm concerned for your constant use of a calculator. With the grades you are pursuing, you'll want to build kids' number sense, reinforce good operational skills and extend those abilities into working well with decimals and fractions. Kids will have questions and struggles. You'll also have kids who can work very well with these concepts, who will be able to do mental math, and who will need higher level applications of the concepts you are teaching. You need to be able to think on your feet, adapt lessons on the fly depending on student needs, and plan for learners of varying levels. It's challenging, could be even more so for you if you truly can't do math without a calculator. What are the other strategies, beside calculator use, you came up with for yourself to manage the math classes you took in high school and college?

Would you consider teaching a secondary subject, say English or Social Studies, where your disability wouldn't be an issue? If your learning disability is specific to math, it seems as though teaching it well would be unnecessarily difficult on you.

I agree with this. I have taught 4th and 5th grades and math is really important, and requires the skills czacza mentioned. What about teaching grades 1 or 2? Also, I agree secondary education in English or History might be good.

Grades 1 and 2 set the foundation for later learning. Plus limiting oneself to only teaching two early childhood grade levels is going to severely limit hireability. The OP would be better off seeking certification in a content area that is a strength.

Yes, in my district grades 5 and 6 (though not 4) are departmentalized so that you wouldn't even need to teach math if you were hired for a different subject. This seems the best route for me.

Oh I agree with you on that. Grades 1 and 2 are incredibly important. I just thought that the math might be better for someone in her situation. The math in one way is "easier" that could help her. Communication skills and strong PD and training is needed at this age to teach grades 1 and 2 which makes this as challenging to teach math as any grade. However, this might be something that might be within the OP's reach. I do agree that teaching in a content area would be the best road to go. If not, (although you might not agree with me), I do think with good PD and communication skills, she might be successful in teaching math at the 1st or 2nd grade level.

I have dyscalculia. It manifests itself it my hand-eye coordination, telling time, retaining information, and manipulating concepts in my head. I do very well with the theory, it's when I get to the actual "calculating" that I make dumb mistakes (inverting numbers, not carrying something, etc.) I coped in college by repetition. If I did something enough times right up until the time I took a test then I would be fine. Most of my classes allowed for calcs during tests. My goal when I started looking into programs was to do English or Social Studies. But, I didn't have enough credits in the subject, so now I'm doing Elem. My advisor told me I could take the NES in Middle School subjects and teach MS for 2 years then jump to HS.

I have a mathematics based LD (not dyscalculia), ADHD-I, and dysgraphia. I'm majoring in Elementary & Teacher of Students with Disabilities and I am going to be doing my student teaching soon. I have issues with math, some areas of math I didn't get the concept or we skipped over it and I still have issues with some components of math - mental math can be a bit of a confusing thing for me at times. Perhaps you could work through the problems with the students on the board - use the calculator first to get the correct answer, then work towards it on the board with them.