Category Archives: 3.1 Teaching & Learning

The Power of Yet

Recently, through an input on math anxiety, I discovered the saying, “the power of yet.” Since this input this saying has really stuck with me.

During my first year placement whilst teaching mathematics, specially time, one boy – who was more intelligent than he let on – decided through frustration and panic gave up on the math problem and said quite publicly ‘I can not do this.’ To be honest, when he said this I became quite puzzled and unsure what the problem was, the boy hadn’t even tried the question yet he decided that he couldn’t go any further. I encouraged him to begin to try and solve the question but he was determined he couldn’t do it and kept repeating “I can’t do it.” This set the boy into insistent panic and he began to become less engaged in the lesson and sat at his table with his pencil in his hand and not a care in his eyes.

The reason I shared this story is that, after this input I realised I should have explained to the boy you can’t do this YET. If I had just made this evident to the child I could have changed his mathematical mindset in a range of different ways.

Scotland has a math problem. Too many of us are happy to label ourselves as “no good with numbers.” This attitude is deep-rooted and is holding our country back educationally and economically. This is transforming public attitudes to math, introducing the ‘I can’t do it’s,’ or the ‘I’m rubbish at this I can’t do math.’ Improving confidence and fluency in math for children, young people, parents and all those who deliver math education to raise attainment and achievement across learning. Simply using the phrase ‘you can’t do it YET,’ has the ability to change the growth mindset of children across Scotland, making children believe in their own personal skills and abilities an improve the math problem within Scotland. With ONE SIMPLE phrase.

Encouraging children to change their words as they speak about math has the ability to change their growth mindset and determination, as well as their happiness within math. For example:

Child: Everyone is so much better at me than math. I give up.

Changed to…

Child: Maybe someone from the class can help me with this problem. I don’t get it yet but I will.

Simply changing the negative to a positive with the power of yet instantly changes the child’s view on the math problem.

Using famous people in this class to show the children that achieving competency in something takes time would also boost their confidence and show children, that they may not be capable of the math problem right now but they will be with the power of yet. For example: “It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success” -Lionel Messi. What does this show? It DOESN’T happen straight away. “People tell me that I’m born with natural talent I’m like . . . uh no! . . . I just practice.” – Ed Sheeran. Again, what takes practice? MATH. How to we gain practice? With the power of yet.

So imagine what each of us, as teachers, could do as individuals, for the children in our classroom, the wider community, and the world we live in if we give our very best, to replace “can’t” with a deafening “yet”! This has the ability to change mathematical mindsets within children for a very early age.










Reflection on Semester 1

One of the most important moments that I reflect on from semester 1 was from my elective module. The base moment from this was the moment I received notification that I had failed my first Politics essay. This essay was micro essay made up of 750 to test our knowledge and effort towards this course. This devastated me as I have always been an achiever throughout school and worked my hardest to acquire the best scores on tests/exams. Unfortunately, I received a M1, this is a marginal fail by 1 mark. My feedback pinpointed my referencing and key points was a bit all over the place – baring in mind this was my first ever university essay – and therefore received a fail. From this, I picked myself up and tried to remain positive about this although challenging at times. Coming up to the next essay to submit I still tried to remain this front of positive attitude, although about a week before the deadline I had a meltdown which resulted in me wanting to remove myself from the elective and join another one. With this goal in my head I set up a meeting with my advisor of studies where I told her I was determined to change because I just can’t do it. She advised me to stick with it and things will get better and aided me with my skills for the next essay. From this I decided to consult my mum on my options, she told me to continue to write the next essay and see what would come from this. With doubt in my mind I began to write this next essay, crying through almost it all. I persevered and finished the essay, taking particular care with the essay structure and points and my referencing’s and in fact finished the essay that day.  After submitting the essay early I felt no confidence in my work at all, and feared the day of results. That day came when the notification came through and I had achieved a C2. This was just brilliant for my self-esteem and I celebrated fully. After this I began to feel more confident and instantly began to write my third and final essay, completing this 3 weeks early. I felt confident with this essay and submitted it early again. I received a B3. I was absolutely delighted gaining an overall C2 for the module. Which I believed was excellent coming from a fail to a B. This has taught me to have confidence and persevere and also to just believe in myself and my abilities. This I will carry all the way through professional practice, to show children that things will pick themselves up and the storm will always pass.