Category Archives: 1 Prof. Values & Personal Commitment

Is Maths Fun?

For me, I always enjoyed maths at school, I enjoyed having one answer to a question and being able to proof that answer yourself, and I was actually rather good at it. However coming into this module I knew this was not the case for many of my colleagues and that within schools ‘maths anxiety’ can be rife. I felt I was important for my own personal and professional development to try and find out why  this sense of ‘maths anxiety’ exists in a attempt to abolish it in my own future teaching.

I have found that a dislike for mathematics can be categorized into two groups; Environmental or individualized factors



Students who are taught in a way that relies too heavily on rote memorization isolated from meaning have difficulty recognizing and retaining math concepts and generalizations.

Curricular materials

Students who do not “get it” the first time are not likely to “get it” the next several times it is taught in the usual manner. Moreover, underachieving students are frequently assigned repetitious and uninteresting skill-and-drill work each year in order to teach them “the basics.” This type of work often represents a narrow view of mathematical foundations and a low level of expectation of students’ abilities. It limits opportunities to reason and problem solve.

The gap between he learner and subject matter

When the mathematics content being taught is unconnected to students’ ability level and/or experiences, serious achievement gaps result. This situation may occur if students are absent frequently or transfer to another school during the academic year.

Personal or individualized factors

Locus of control

Some students believe that their mathematical achievement is mainly attributable to factors beyond their control, such as luck. These students think that if they scored well on a mathematics assignment, they did so only because the content happened to be easy. They view their achievement as accidental and poor progress as inevitable. In doing so, they limit their capacity to study and move ahead (Beck, 2000; Phillips & Gully, 1997).

Memory ability

Some students lack well-developed mental strategies for remembering how to complete algorithmic procedures and combinations of basic facts.

Attention Span

Students may be mentally distracted and have difficulty focusing on multistep problems and procedures.

Understanding Mathematical language

Students are confused by words that also have special mathematical meaning, such as “volume,” “yard,” “power,” and “area.   (Sherman, Richardson, and Yard, 2014)




I feel as a future teacher it is vital to understand why children don’t enjoy/understand the maths that is being taught and I feel this has close links to Ma’s concept of teachers acquiring a profound understanding of mathematics in order to teach mathematics effectively. I feel a teachers job is to consider both environmental an personal motivators within peoples feelings towards maths and attempt to teach in a way that is universal, so that all children can understand to some degree. Having a PUFM will by and large take care of he environmental factors as a teacher would b teaching in a way that promotes the basic ideas, through multiple perspectives, connecting different mathematical ideas together, while understanding what each student has already done and where they are going (longitudinal coherence). If a teacher has a strong understanding of PUFM I feel the environmental factors that prohibit students during maths lessons are taken care of

However the personal and individual factors that can cause a dislike for maths can be far harder to counteract, and I feel it is the role of any good teacher of any subject to address these with students at a personal, individual level. giving students the tools to address their own issues with learning is a vital part of being a teacher; whether it be showing different revision methods, practicing older knowledge, extra help within lessons or simply sitting down and talking to children about their anxiety’s can be a huge help in dealing wit their personal motivators.

looking into what makes children dislike maths has informed me on a personal and professional level and I feel that it will help my understanding of the way children learn maths in the future

Sherman, H.J., Richardson, L.I. and Yard, G.J. (2014) Why do students struggle with mathematics. Available at:


Revitalising Reflection

Following Derek’s lecture upon our ePortfios, we were asked to review and reflect upon the posts of our peers, and how they structure and present their posts.

For me this was a very enlightening task as I have previously struggled to engage with my own portfolio, for the simple fact that I forget to post when I complete tasks. I was able to see the effort my peers had placed on structuring and presenting their chosen topic ideas in a way that has whole-heartedly motivated me to do the same.

While reading through posts, I noticed that a few things were clearly different between mine and my peers posts. The most engaging posts for me contained; catchy titles, pictures and videos but the most prominent difference between my work and the work of others was the length of posts and the amount of time they have spent crafting each post.

For me, I took this as a kind of wake up call to work on my portfolio more in, order to compete with some of my peers. Following on from this is, and Richard Holmes lectures, I have created myself a SMART target in order to improve the quality of my ePortfolio. in essence I hope these targets I have created for myself will improve quality and heighten my engagement. They are:

S – to write a minimum of two blog posts per week

M – post at least two per week

A – use blackboard posts to help follow up on TDT’s

R – link each post to my development as a professional/teacher

T – weekly evaluation if I have achieved it.

Overall I feel these targets will help me improve my portfolio, and ultimately help me become the professional I wish to be. The benefits of this will undoubtedly help me become a reflective practitioner, something which the SPR guidelines state as a must.






Being a professional

In my opinion professionals need to be:

  1. Skilled
  2. Knowledgeable
  3. Happy in their situation
  4. Well mannered
  5. Well presented
  6. Punctual
  7. Understanding
  8. Spontaneous
  9. Good in emergencies
  10. Very strong social skills

‘One born every minute’

Following watching ‘One born every minute’ I have noticed all the skills I previously listed were present in the field of midwifery. Most prominently shown during child birth, the professionals had to be skilled within delivery of a new born, and have an understanding/empathy for the mother and family in order to reassure them of a successful delivery.

During the program, there were times in which the midwives were free and were seen to be messing around in their office. Although some may view this as unprofessional, I feel the aspect of enjoying your job and having fun is key to being any professional. If the midwives acted like this during childbirth, it would be extremely unprofessional, however it was in the comfort of their own office, therefore I feel it appropriate and even vital for team building and moral.  If this playful attitude was taken into the context of childbirth it could be detrimental to the hospital staff in question, the hospitals reputation and even the health of the women giving birth, and the child being born; therefore it is vital to know the appropriate times to have fun within a practice.

For the midwifes, blue scrubs seemed to be the uniform throughout. This uniform is vital for hygiene as they are interacting with babies that can be very susceptible to disease and infection, therefore it is vital to wear a hygienic uniform. Furthermore a uniform shows the midwifes to be a team, something vital in being a professional in both midwifery and even teaching, as it shows clients that you all work toward a common goal.

If I was to create a degree for midwifery, I would place high emphasis on practical’s and placements, as no two days will be the same, and you will never be fully prepared, therefore the more experience in the course will make a person more comfortable in situations that may arise. I would also ensure that students go to all lectures, as when dealing with new born babies, there are many things that a person must have knowledge on to be able to ensure the health of the child and the mother.