The real world

I have been teaching to master’s students for quite some time now. My classes are generally very diverse. Students are not only from very different cultural backgrounds and countries but also with varying ages, knowledge, and experience. Students with a science and engineering background have a different level of understanding of quantitative techniques. There is a stark contrast between students who specialize in a quantitative subject vs. students from other disciplines. It is always a challenge to set an assignment or exam that will be reasonably easy for all students. A student approached me in one such class and said – “some students seem to know too much and find classes easy, but it is all very challenging for me.”

I said – “Welcome to the real world! It is not just maths, but for almost everything in life, this is how it is going to be. Some people will always seem to know too much and look very smart. You will have to find what you are good at and also what you are not so good at. Once you know, you will know what to do about it.” I don’t know if this helped, but in the end, he got an excellent grade!