Students are always told by their mathematics teachers, that, “things on mathematics may be easy to handle if they pour their souls into it.” They might be given by their teachers all the academic support they might have as they go through all the pain and anxiety of learning mathematics. Of course some of the students loved mathematics but most of the students are left hanging with the idea of how to do it properly with ease and smoothness.
Numbers and mathematics comes in pair and so with other subjects. These are stigmatized in their own scheme, like English and words, past events, government and Social Sciences, handy works and TLE and the likes.
Nevertheless, mathematics became outstandingly popular because of the “complications with numbers”. The problem actually lies neither on numbers nor its complexities, the problem lies on the perspectives on mathematics.
Of course some will tell that, there are really students whom are non-numeric or having emotional and intellectual illnesses which may hinder the growth of love for mathematics.
We may all agree with that, nonetheless, things may start bright with how one look at the subject.
With this article let me share with you some tips which may actually help our students, walk in more to the deepest caves of mathematics.
I know that most of the mathematics will agree that they had been doing some of these or almost all of these through their decades of mathematics teaching, but to reiterate and for us to become replenish with the old and new idea here are some of the tips.
1. When teaching mathematics, a smile and laughter is the best medicine, however try to keep your calm and assure your student in the beginning that “this IS AN EASY subject,” but please desist from telling them , “if others can do it, why can’t you?” for the former statement will make them appreciate more themselves and the latter statement will make them be more frustrated.
So instead try to articulate, “everybody is unique and has their own pace of learning, try to cope up, I will always be here to assist you, if you think that most people had gone through it and you are still stuck on that level,” added with a smile.
2. Second, is that when teaching complicated equations and formula as well as the most complicated part of the subject, minimize bombarding them with the new idea. Remember to look at them like babies trying to grasp as much as possible their feeding bottle to survive. If these are new lessons for them, try to be motherly or fatherly as much as possible. A loving mother or father will assist his/her baby when the feeding bottle has to be given to the baby. This may come hard in the beginning but this may come easy and handy as they learn to cuddle with the new idea in mathematics. As time passes by, they will become more independent and self-regulating.
3. Looking at numbers may actually be quite amusing especially for those who are tremendously traumatized by their previous school teachers and professors whom are hard to approach, difficult to talk with and super intelligent. Therefore, minimize impressing your students with much of the words and blathering which may confuse them, remember it is not a panelist of supervisors you are trying to impress, but set of students whom are ready to listen.
Let us accept, some may not be ready but just coping by with their schoolings and hoping that the hour may end so that they could go home and do their personal matters.
So, try to be less dramatic in front of the class, leaving them with open, hanging mouths, but try to be a friend with numbers and make your student love it more by spending your hours of teaching practical and forthright.
4. Lastly, when you befriend your student, and the numbers of math starts to run through their innocent faces, try to submerge them with the idea of storytelling and practicality of mathematics to life. Yes, it is hard to make practical, real-life examples with mathematics especially when numbers and letters collide, however, to some extent of your capabilities and creativities you may always find ways to ignite their interest with the real like situations, so that when they grow old they will not depart from the idea that mathematics is actually a fun subject which is essential to real life.
Weston, Courtney (2020). Mathematical Discourse: Impacts on Seventh Grade Student Learning and Feelings About Mathematics. https://red.mnstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1413&context=thesis. Retrieved on October 2020.