Yes, I suffer from some of the effects of what I call being “directionally challenged” (aka getting lost).
I come by it honestly. If there’s a gene for having a bad sense of direction, it runs deep on my mom’s side of the family. Let’s call it the Gushy Gene (pronounced “Gooo-sh-ee” – a shortened version of my mom’s maiden name.)
My baby Einstein nephew couldn’t even escape the Gushy Gene. (I know we all think our own kids are geniuses and since I don’t have my own, maybe I’m biased, but, come on, he knew numbers to 20 when he was a year and a half!)
Anyhow, despite having inherited a brilliant math mind from his dad, I think he may have inherited being directionally challenged from our side of the family.
Watch and see.
He mastered hard things like teen numbers, but turned toward the wrong bedroom!
My mom’s sense of direction is so bad, it’s actually reliable!
“Just go the opposite way of your mother”, my dad advised me as a young child to know which direction to turn out the hotel door to get to the elevator.
If she went left, the elevator would ALWAYS be to the right. Accurately. 100% of the time.
Like in Seinfeld, when George decides to do the opposite.
My mom’s oldest sister has a strong Gushy Gene and carries it proudly. Like the time when she walked the loop around the hotel 6+ times in Mexico, head held high, appearing to the outsider that she confidentially knew exactly where she was going.
Her travel companions finally went out and got her after about the seventh time she walked past their hotel window, just because they’d already laughed so hard, there were no tears left.
Lesson: If you’re gonna be lost, might as well do it with conviction.
All jokes aside, there’s hope! I promise! Just keep reading…
Having a sense of direction is a part of an area of math called Spatial Sense.
Spatial sense is essential for jobs of the future, known as STEAM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). 70% of the highest-paying jobs require expertise in these disciplines.
Geometry receives the least amount of teaching time compared to other areas of math. Spatial sense, a subset of geometry, receives even less attention. Kids aren’t usually taught specifically about spatial thinking—but it’s critically important!
The good news is…spatial thinking can be improved!
I’ll tell you the 3 Easy Ways to Improve Students’ Spatial Sense in my next post. Until then, click below for my FREE Spatial Sense Quiz to see where your students are at with their spatial thinking abilities.