Personal Transformations: Stories from Educators, Parents & Students

In celebration of those steadfast MMR practitioners, who in addition to changing the lives of their students, have also experienced their own personal transformations, I am sending out the request to share your stories of having experienced powerful, personal transformations as educators, clinicians, math learners, and as human beings. Your stories of personal transformation, like your stories of changing your students’ lives, will again provide invaluable inspiration and motivation for countless others seeking to help their children/students. Please feel free to remain anonymous as your stories need not include any identifying information (unless you want to). I hope to continue publishing your stories for years to come.

David Berg, ET
Founder & Director, Making Math Real Institute

∞  HOW TO SHARE WITH MAKING MATH REAL: Please use our online submission form.

Personal Transformations: Stories From Educators, Parents & Students

August 20, 2022


Since 2020 I have repeated all the courses you have offered and also taken the mini courses and Algebra II and Geometry II.

I know for a fact that MMR is the only institute that teaches those high level courses and it has been both a pleasure and an exceptional learning opportunity.

I would like to thank you for enabling me and others to take these courses. It has been extremely beneficial to repeat all the classes after more than 20 years. I was very much impressed by the material taught. Noticing how much more detailed and scaffolded you have made it, how more complex on one hand while on the other hand the basic guidelines have not changed keeping their original brilliance and uniqueness.

Thank you.

And I’ll keep following the emails hoping that you’ll be repeating Algebra II and Geometry II and keep dreaming of more advanced courses.

~ Sarah Sharon

A note of thanks for David

As I sit in the parking lot of the school waiting for my son to pick up his football gear, I want to take some time to write a long overdue thank you.

Because you work tirelessly to teach those of us who are willing to learn what we don’t know, my students are achieving in ways I could never have imagined a short year ago. Each of them understands executive function and working memory and can readily tell me if their bus driver is on the job or on a break. Their parents have learned that developing a stable picture is more important than the right answer on a worksheet. And I have the daily joy of watching kids reignite their confidence with genuine success.

I can go on and on. I won’t. Please know that for all the frustration and misunderstanding you regularly encounter, there are practitioners like me who strive to apply what we learn with integrity. We change lives because you make the investment to teach us. Thank you for staying the course and continuing this critical work.

With a grateful heart,


Sophie just completed your high school geometry MMR binders. She did an amazing job, and I feel like she learned all the material really well. Even when we got to the end of your geometry binders where she was doing the tricky geometric mean problems and the similarity word problems, it all went very smoothly for her and made sense to her. She works her problems confidently and applies what she has learned. I am so proud of her hard work and all she has accomplished.

At the end of first grade (before we started doing MMR at home), Sophie was so worried that she wouldn’t be able to do her second grade math. Her school started Common Core math in second grade, which caused even more stress and less understanding for her. It is truly remarkable how far she has come since she left the school math program and started learning with MMR.

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Seven years ago I was a classroom teacher for an independent school dedicated to kids with dyslexia and other learning differences.  That year the local Oregon branch of the IDA invited David to come give the Overview for their annual conference.  My school at the time offered free registration to any teachers who wanted to go.  I was the only teacher who was interested.  

I remember hearing people murmuring about how unusual it was for math to be the topic of an ORBIDA conference.  I remember arriving late and in a hurry (time management was and still is hard for me) but going up to the very front row anyway (because while math and being on time have never been easy interrupting people always has).  I remember David’s suit and tie and thinking about how his shoes were really clean and very fancy.  I remember being certain I would not really understand this dude; I had gone to the big IDA national conference the fall before and had struggled to make sense out of nearly every presentation I attended.

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Thank you David for mentoring me as a math teacher and educational therapist. For me, these classes have been about so much more than math. You have created a method that looks at each individual student which has transformed my understanding of how students make meaning from what we offer them. I use these tools daily in all situations and empower students to use them as well to better understand their lives as students and also their relationships in the classroom and beyond.

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My life changed in 2014 when I began what was to be a summer long drive into the world of Making Math Real. That first summer I took the Overview, 9 Lines Intensive, The Four Operations, and Fractions, Decimals and Advance Place Value.

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How Making Math Real has changed my life

I have always hated math, couldn’t do math and was the worst math student.  But everything has changed in 2002 when I met David Berg and got acquainted with MMR — Making Math Real has totally transformed my life.

I understood why I was struggling with math all my life, I could see why my daughter wasn’t getting it either, and I just knew how to remedy that with the brilliant insights and strong tools provided by MMR.  

 It was then that I vowed to teach math to struggling students – hoping to change their lives as math students from  feeling failure and fear to feeling success and confidence.

I’ve been studying MMR and working with my own students accordingly ever since.  All of them achieving their goals.  

I live in Israel and am trying to find a way to bring MMR here.  Maybe someday…

— Sarah Sharon


You have touched so many lives, directly in all of your classes, as well as through each of us when we interact with our students.   An amazing reach!

I am ever so grateful to have been introduced to MMR in 2004.  Every bit of your classes made sense to me.  Each approach, each reasoning why something is taught the way it is, is so detailed and thought out, and most importantly, makes sense.

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The best parent education I have received thus far has been learning to teach Math with David. Understanding processing styles in particular has made me a wiser person in all my relationships.

— Margot

Making Math Real: An Appreciation

The thing is, it’s only partly about the math.

Sure, I absolutely love using MMR with students: watching them relax; watching them enjoy the process (many for the first time); watching them treat each increment like a fun puzzle they totally know how to solve. Watching them really learn the content! Witnessing how kids who have deeply hated math can now gain mastery, and how that heals some old internal wounds. It’s been a great relief to learn this methodology, to understand the absolute best scope and sequence. I know what order to teach concepts in, and I know the gold-standard way to bring the concepts so that kids can get their pictures back later on their own. I understand where to back up to if a student is missing something from an earlier part of their math development. But there’s more….

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You have been my unofficial mentor for 20 years. I quote you often to others and always to my students. Thank you for your passionate devotion to teaching and to helping me understand that “getting my picture” is everything.

— Kris K.

Dear David,

Thank you for the great methodology classes. Your classes do not just make math real for all learners, your classes save and heal souls. Learners who thought they were “dumb” realize they were not taught properly and were not given the tools necessary to be successful. MMR is the only way my kids get math. Thanks!

— Patricia