See This Teacher's Amazing Response To The Question, 'But When Are We Gonna Have To Use This?'

Middle-school math class: pre-algebra, permutations, combinations, and simply trying to learn anything in the midst of one of the most awkward stages of life.

A few months ago, we posted a video of a teacher using a counting puzzle to engage his students and teach them that math can be pretty cool. They had so much fun and were so excited that we picked up the story that they made a sequel.


First, a few words from Justin:

Q: What was it like to have your story on Upworthy?

"When we were filming the first video, I jokingly told my students that I thought it could go viral. When we put it up and got a thousand views just by word of mouth, we were really pleased — that was about as viral as any of us expected. So after Upworthy picked it up and we got 25,000 views in 24 hours, my students were blown away. It helped get them jazzed to take on another puzzle!"

Q: Why do you do this exercise with your students?

"Every year I get the question in class, 'When are we gonna have to use this?' And my answer to that question is, 'You're not.' That's not the point. By doing math, we are carving neural pathways that otherwise wouldn't have been there. Grappling with problems like this makes us better problem solvers, and by extension, better human beings."

And finally, the counting puzzle, take 2:

Like the rest of the Western hemisphere, I woke up this morning to the surprising news that gymnastic superstar Simone Biles had backed out of the Olympic team finals after an uncharacteristically bad vault performance. After some conflicting reports about a possible injury, it became clear that she was physically fine—it was her mental state that had gotten twisted.

Cue the armchair commentators complaining that she had let the team down, that she's only concerned about herself, and that she shouldn't have gone into the competition if she didn't have the mental toughness to handle it.

Hoo boy. Let's all just take a deep breath and step back for a second.

Keep Reading Show less