As many of you know, I instruct courses in mathematics. I recognize that

1) most of you hate math here, so you are the perfect audience to ask

2) most who hate math don’t get much practice in it.

So I focus my instruction on practicing problem solving in math after providing a key formula. As the hipsters you are that despise math, I’ll sum my questions up as succinctly as possible.

1) You exist as you are. You find yourself in a math course, and you struggle to solve problems. What is something you would like to see from an instructor (in a problem solving session) that will help you to solve it? Do you prefer it if the instructor solves everything out mechanistically and then asks you to help him solve the next similar problem? Or do you prefer he start from scratch on the first one, and encourage participation on each step of the process?

2) You’re too shy to ask a question you’re struggling with. As someone who doesn’t read minds, we cannot anticipate your difficulties. How would you like your instructor to approach the problem, assuming he did anticipate your difficulties?

3) Do you prefer seeing alternative ways to solving a problem, or would you rather see one method used universally to every problem you see (I strongly advise against the latter).

These are the core questions, and feel free to bring up anything you would like to see or not see as well if you were in this scenario. All suggestions are welcome.

**Note: I ask not because I struggle to teach—I ask because many of my students share your disdain toward math and are too shy to speak out toward their difficulties and what they want to see. I also instruct the derivations in lectures—this is a separate class which supplements the material taught. My presentation skills are already fine—this topic is poised in such a way to ask what you, in particular, seek when you struggle.**

Of course, I won’t do exactly everything you say since Math needs to teach critical thinking, which many of you lack (waah waaah). So it stands to reason that some of your suggestions will not fall into line with what math teaches.

Is it notation that bothers you that you want to learn? Is it the inability to see step 1 to step 2? Of course everyone has different difficulties, but share your difficulties and what you think may help.

**Format: First, address your difficulty in as much detail as you can, and then suggest any number of ways you feel this difficulty may be alleviated by a problem solving session and what your instructor can do to help.**

I think this will benefit us all, since you will tackle your math phobia head on (if you actually care to provide a legitimate reply) and will help me to produce people that don’t cower in the fetus position when they hear fields of math.

**Nota Bene: This is college level mathematics; try to seclude your answers to the realm of college. You may include others as I think many methods carry over, but not all will. If you can provide insight for calculus that would be lovely.**