# The Game of the Math Professor

By Vic Odarve

Some students find it frustrating that they cannot make sense of the lesson, and that’s why they feel tired inside the classroom. As a result, they miss the point the professor wants to emphasize. Failure to grasp clearly on the lectures may give its toll in the next succeeding topics. Worse, students are bound to fail the Math course they are taking. But not for a wily mathematics professor! He is bringing his students to his own world… playing his game in a tricky way. It’s a professor’s game.

Working Examples at the classroom,UIC-Davao city, Philippines

Picture this one out! The professor started his game this way. After a detailed discussion on how to solve the example math problems and sensing that there were no more questions, the professor pointed to the board and said to the students” Alright class, it’s now your turn, work out the following problems in your seats”. To catch their attention, the professor made a simple problem. It was just similar to the example discussed. Just a trick!  If the students understood the discussions, the problems were as easy as eating peanuts. Looking for the students with a big smile, he asked, “Any volunteer to solve this problem?” Surely, almost all students raised their hands. But to the dismay of the students, the professor pointed to students not raising their hands.

Caritas University, Inugu State, Africa

Then the professor made a second problem on the board.  It was  a difficult one. “Is there any volunteer?” he asked again. Only a few raised their hands. Then the professor told one of the volunteers to solve the problem with the board. Lastly, he made a difficult one. Since nobody raised hands, the professor looked to his best and brightest student. “Just try to solve this one on the board’’, he said. Commanding but supporting words to his favorite student. A bright student is a teacher’s pet! Moments later, silence engulfed the class. Students were very busy wrestling out the steps by steps in solving the problems. Then afterwards, the professor instructed the students working on the boards to explain their works to the class.