Just after starting the Discovering Mathematics elections, we were asked to do a maths anxiety questionnaire and reflect upon our maths anxiety. Therefore, this is my blog post on my maths mindset.
I feel my maths anxiety is overall quite low just now. I am fine, and actually quite enjoy, to listen to maths lectures and tutorials. I do not mind doing maths assessments that I am prepared for and aren’t graded such as the OMA. However, I feel more anxious doing examinations that are graded – this isn’t just maths related. The last time I felt like this was in standard grade maths. I quite enjoy the relaxed yet challenging atmosphere my standard grade maths teacher created. This is the way I wish to portray maths in my own classroom.
However, I dropped out of higher maths after two weeks because of the anxiety that I would not be able to cope with the level of mathematics and the stress of higher maths. After two weeks, I was feeling extremely anxious that the mathematics was too difficult and I would not get the support I needed to pass the exam.
I feel that maths is approached with a lot less anxiety and stress in university – it is a lot more relaxed atmosphere which is how I hope to convey it within my classroom as a teacher. I remember in primary 7 having a teacher on their probationary year and being very scared to answer any maths question in his class in case I got the answer wrong and was told so in front of the entire class. I feel that show me boards like we used in the lecture today is a good way for only me, as the teacher, to see how everyone is getting on with the topic without shaming them in front of their peers.