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Worried I May Fall Behind In Math - What Do I Do?

Published: November 17, 2015
Dear Worried I May Fall Behind In Math - What Do I Do?,

I am just sick of school. I am in tenth grade and I am an all A student. This year for algebra 2 I have a teacher who does not really care and does not explain things well. My parents tried to get me switched to the other class with the good teacher but the principle said no. I am just afraid that I will not have learned enough by the end of the year and I will be behind. What should I do?


Dear Worried I May Fall Behind In Math - What Do I Do?,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate your concern that in continuing in your current math class you may end up falling behind. However, to ease your mind about this situation, FX recommends that you focus on what is in your power and control rather than what is not. Your principal has decided not to switch your class, so nothing helpful will come out of focusing on what cannot be. Instead, think about what resources you can take advantage of in order to stay on top of your work. Here are some options:

  • Work with a peer tutor if your school offers this kind of program.

  • Find out if the other teacher does private tutoring. If not, perhaps he/she can recommend someone good.

  • Contact a local tutoring center to find a reputable math tutor.

  • Check in with a math teacher at your school, or a math tutor, about online resources available to help you with your algebra.

What you are experiencing is a good example of what can happen in life – sometimes things do not go as we planned or hoped, or we find that certain obstacles or challenges are making reaching our goal a little tougher. But try and remember that it doesn’t mean that reaching our goal is going to be impossible or unmanageable. It just means we may need to think about alternate resources and other paths that will take us where we want to go.

When you say you are “sick of school,” FX is also wondering if there is something more going on here than just what is happening with this math class. There is a difference between saying something specific about this situation with your math class (i.e., “I am so frustrated about what is happening with my algebra class”) versus a broad statement about being sick of school in general. If you feel that there is some general stress or frustration with school that you are having trouble dealing with, then FX suggests that you reach out to some trusted adults so you can get a better understanding of what is contributing to these negative feelings, as well as some ideas about how to deal with these feelings more effectively. You could speak to a teacher, guidance counselor, school social worker or school psychologist, or a private therapist about any concerns you may have.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

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