How patience, teamwork and bubbles helped me find success in math

Aisling ’21 generally enjoys math, but when her honors math class proved to be difficult, she sought out extra help.

Coming into the school year, I was a little nervous about Math Problem Solving (MPS)2 Honors. I had heard that it was challenging. I worried that maybe I didn't belong at that level. 

Aisling '21

MPS2 Honors was hard. Math class was kicking my butt. Midterm grades came out, and my parents were not pleased with my grades — neither was I. The thing is, I genuinely enjoy math! Unfortunately, my grade was not reflecting my enthusiasm for the subject. So, heeding my teacher Ms. Montgomery's advice, I started going to evening Math Clinic. Staffed by Peddie math department faculty, Math Clinic provides a collaborative atmosphere where students can receive individual assistance with math courses and/or work together with other students and faculty.

The power of teamwork

Math Clinic is where I began to learn the true power of teamwork. I started working with my peers on my homework and classwork, first in Math Clinic and then on our own. About halfway through the winter term, things starting clicking for me. I got more and more comfortable with asking for help, not just from my peers but from Ms. Montgomery too. I was even allowed to sit in on another math class to gain a different perspective and ask questions.


Math Clinic is where I began to learn the true power of teamwork.”

I have never before had a class as interactive as MPS2 Honors. Ms. Montgomery was so understanding and encouraged us to work together to solve problems rather than turning to her for the answers. I rarely even took out my notebook during class because I was always at the board solving problems with my friends. 

Bring on the bubbles

The most memorable moment of that class (and there are many) was a week and a half before finals. Everyone was on edge when Ms. Montgomery came into the room with a surprise for us. She whipped out bottles of bubbles, and we spent the beginning of the class filling our classroom with bubbles — it was the perfect thing to ease the anxieties of exam week. 

Our class dynamic was special. While I was initially really scared about this class, MPS2 ended up being one of my favorite classes of the entire year. I learned a lot about patience, collaboration and the value of extra help.