How to succeed in Algebra

If you are failing Algebra, there are other options


Algebra teacher Ricky Halteman helps Natalie Williams (9) in sixth hour Algebra lab. Photo taken by Gabby Abowitz.

Gabby Abowitz, Photography Editor

Anyone that has taken Algebra freshman year knows the struggles: getting bad grades on the tests, having to stay after school, extra practice, and being confused. If you have a bad grade in algebra, do not give up yet, there are many options.
Last year when I was in algebra it was painful at times, but to get your grade up you need to put in effort. First semester was the most difficult for me. At one point I was failing and I thought ‘oh I’d be fine ending with a C’. But I pushed myself and was happily surprised with the outcome of ending the semester with an A. I got a tutor outside of school that I met with once a week but I also stayed after almost every day to do extra work and retake tests. Fellow students also volunteer as tutors that help teach you one-on-one. Now, I tutor algebra kids and I clearly remember their struggles.
Ricky Halteman, an algebra teacher, recommends you be listening and engaged in class to understand what you’re being taught.
“For me, the number one thing you need in the classroom is engagement and I remember when I was in school I would stare off into space, doodle, or not pay attention in class,” Halteman said.
“It’s easy to get through certain classes, but if you’re engaged, you’re listening, you’re working on stuff, and you’re participating, I think you’re going to learn more. As a teacher I try to make sure that everyone is engaged and I use a variety of strategies to do that,” Halteman said.
This worked for me because I didn’t put in as much effort at the beginning of the first semester, and then I realized how behind I was and it was difficult to bring my grade up. Second semester I gave full attention in class and it ended up being a lot better for me in the long run, considering not having to meet with a tutor at all second semester.
Freshman Caitlyn Kang, like many others, has put in the effort to get her grade up.
“My grade used to be a C, but now I have a B+,” Kang said. “My grade is how it is because Mr. Halteman helped me. To get my grade up I’m staying after school and I’m going during AC Lab and coming in on Sundays. I try to stay after every single day that I can. Teachers are helping me by giving me worksheets to do and they are motivating me. I’ve been putting in a lot more effort especially since finals are coming up soon. If your struggling I would say to study a lot more and ask your teacher for extra work.”
Freshman Aleah Livingston recommends asking for extra work to fully understand the topics. “ My grade used to be an F and now I have brought it up to a B,” Livingston said. “ I usually stay after 2 times a week. Halteman is helping me learn how to do math. I’ve been putting in a lot more effort than I expected I would have to.”
Freshman Alex Zahariev sees how the teachers are wanting students to reach their full potential. “Teachers are a little more pushy and are kind of like middle school teachers where they like actually care about your grade and they give us work that reflects on the test. If your struggling, keep persevering.”