When I first got to our first Maths input, I was really looking forward to it as I haven’t attended a Maths class in four and a half years (AHHH). Tara started us off with drawing a scale and we had to mark the scale depending on how we felt about teaching Maths- 10 being extremely confident and 1 being far from it. I put myself into the middle of the scale; I liked Maths at school, but it definitely did not come naturally to me. I got a huge fright when I completed my NAT 5 prelim and I got a D. I was so disappointed! I kicked myself into gear, got a tutor and worked super hard, managing to bag myself a B.
The fear of failing deterred me from having a go at Higher Maths– which I completely regret now. The maths myths that we discussed really got me reflecting on my past experiences with Maths and I began to realise how much they had influenced me. I was someone who excelled at English and could imagine myself enforcing the “I’m an English person, not a Maths person” myth. Although I don’t regret getting my tutor, I remember feeling that I had to get a tutor in order to pass.
Tara’s reassurance that you did not have to be utterly fantastic at Maths in order to teach it really assured me. After the first input, it is clear to me now that my enthusiasm to tackle Maths will actually be beneficial when I come to teach the subject on placement. I hope my eagerness to become confident in Maths, will be reflected in my teaching and will motivate the children and impact their own learning and perspective on the subject.
This new perspective that I have now gained has me thinking about the relevance of maths while, simultaneously, combating the myth that Maths is not needed out with schools, other than just life-skills Maths. This is something I am considering to explore in my assignment, while also looking at the interdisciplinary side of Maths that Tara has emphasised a lot to us.
Overall, I am grateful to have this new appreciation for Maths as it will certainly help my pre-placement jitters. I am excited about furthering my knowledge through the NOMA and other inputs, but also during the STEM module in second year; I think it is a great idea to reintroduce some of us to these subjects that we may have been closed-minded to due– again– to the myths enforced on us.