When has a teacher not heard the phrase “When am I ever going to use this?” from his/her students? Students inherently need to make the connection of what they are learning to their real lives. If they can see the connection, they will take more of an interest in what they are learning.
After all, Math IS everyone’s business! It’s all around us and we use it everyday. Even if we aren’t explicitly using math, we are using the skills that learning math teaches us.
As a Business Math teacher, I am able to find examples that show students where the math they learn is used in real life business applications. Through our HP Project, we are striving to make the links stronger through connections with local Entrepreneurs who share how they use Math in their businesses.
For high school teachers, it can be difficult to make the connection to real world use for some of the math that is taught in school. This is especially true when the student is not moving on to a college or university program that relates to math directly. I recently found an link on twitter to an article that talks about the life lessons that Math teaches us. You can find the article here. Next time you are struggling to find a concrete example of how students would use the math your teaching in their lives — connect it to some of the examples in this article.