Maths!! I suppose you could say it’s a bit like marmite; you either love it or hate it! It can put the fear of God into some people and evoke feelings of happiness and pure fulfilment in others. Me? I am probably somewhere in the middle of the both of them.
I remember Maths from about Primary 3. I attended Lenzie Moss PS having just moved from Carlogie PS in Carnoustie and was placed in a pleasant class with a pleasant teacher. Maths was working through the red SPMG workbook. My teacher would mark with a large dot where I was to work to. I LOVED it!; the maths, the workbook; the sense of achievement I felt reaching that dot and the teacher then marking my work and dotting a further section for me to attempt; the page of ticks as I’d gotten most of the answers correct.
But that was a long time ago! 1985 to be more accurate and a lot has changed since then. The maths got harder and harder and I ended up sort of falling out of love with it a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still LIKE doing maths but I know the feeling is definitely not mutual; maths does not like me! Because quite frankly, I consider myself no longer very good at it. I managed to scrape a pass at ‘foundie’ level during high school and didn’t really partake in maths as such after leaving – until I decided that a career in teaching was for me. Requirements for university entry? Intermediate 2 level at grade C or above. Ssssssssssssigh!!! It took me 2 attempts, working my butt off but my efforts were rewarded and I gained a B grade pass for my blood, sweat and tears. No mean feat I’ll tell you!
So, even though I like Maths a medium sized bit more than it likes me, I chose it as my elective. I hope to change its feelings of unrequited love and be more than just adequate in learning (and now teaching) the subject. I want to feel confident that I know how to solve mathematical problems and be able to achieve my primary 3 feeling of achievement and joy at doing so. I want to be able to make my pupils experience that sense of excitement at broaching the subject. And through my sense of anxiety at Maths I am more able to understand how children are feeling towards it if they struggle and I will use this in a positive way to ensure I am a supportive teacher who strives to meet the needs of her class.