Learning Math is like playing a guitar.

No guitarist will claim to be the best. They know that there is always someone more experienced and skillful than them. They know that for every song that they play, someone else can play it better than them or play it differently.

Still learning…after a decade of learning.

Thus, it is always good to keep an open mind, always learning from others so that they can improve over time. In other words, adapt like Nature. Nature is our teacher. We are the students.

If one’s sole focus of getting an ‘A’ in math is to show off how intelligent they are, even an ‘A’ will not satisfy them. They are insecure about the achievements and progress they have made and focus on what they have failed in and what they have not learnt. They are afraid that someone else will be better than them in skills, knowledge and depth of understanding.

Their progress stunts. Fear fills their mind, not curiosity. Pride, not humility, imprisons their growth.

If one’s sole focus of getting an ‘A’ in math is to broaden their understanding, testing their character when it comes to learning unfamiliar content, or simply satisfy their curiosity to see what they can learn, then grades no longer emotionally affect them.

They are free from the shackles of pride and fear. They embrace all grades as part of their learning.

Growth comes naturally.

‘A’ or no ‘A’, it’s okay for these learners. They seek to broaden their knowledge, understanding, and continuously learn because they love to learn.

They see grades as a way to acknowledge where they are in learning AND how much more they can grow and learn.

A. B. C. D. E. Fail. Ungraded. They are merely pit stops in your learning journey. They are not your final destinations. Take a breather at these pit stops to acknowledge what you have learnt.

Take a breather (Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash)

Then, carry on with the journey. Every move (or fall) forward means you are learning. Wisdom comes to you in unexpected ways.


  • Brandon Cai Shaoyang

    I help middle school children improve their math scores

    Brandon Shaoyang is a former Singapore school teacher who has more than 12 years of teaching experience helping middle-school children improve their test scores. He is a math education consultant and writes about solving challenging math problems on his website brandonshaoyang.com. He also writes for The Asian Parent and was featured by The Asian Entrepreneur. Join his newsletter here to find out how he helps children improve their test scores.