These are the words of my mentor, Jamie York:
I firmly believe that “struggle” should be part of the experience of doing math. I even go as far to say that it is “good to be confused” (as long as it is a temporary state!); it presents an opportunity to wrestle with something difficult. By figuring out something that was once perplexing, the student’s confidence is boosted and thinking is strengthened.
Contrary to what the norm might be, it is not my goal to make math easy. Perhaps, at times, math will become easy, hopefully after some effort. But if I have to choose between two approaches, where one approach is easy but the students don’t really understand what they are doing, and the other approach is more complicated but builds an understanding of the concepts better – then I will usually the latter approach.
Likewise, there will, at times, be problems on the homework that a student won’t be confident with. Perhaps they work on it a while and in the end come to class still not knowing how to do it. I believe that this can be quite beneficial to their learning, because when they finally see me (or a fellow student) explain how to do the problem then they will learn it more deeply.