I could confidently say, throughout primary school I was one of the best in my class at maths, I was bursting with confidence in the subject and I found every aspect of it painfully easy. On my final day of primary school I even received a prize for maths, I was that good at it.
However, after my transition into high school it all went downhill. I began to find maths extremely difficult and I seriously lacked the confidence to progress in the subject. I was never bad at maths, I still remained in the top class for my year group but something had changed. I was now the worst at maths in my class and I felt too stupid to ever ask my teacher for help.
A well-known saying is: “a good workman never blames his tools” but I am going to contradict that by placing most of the blame on my high school maths teacher for my lack of confidence. He snapped at me whenever I asked him for help and he even told my mum at parents evening that there was no chance of me passing the subject. He was wrong, I sit here today with a C in higher maths, a very low C, but still a pass.
In my experience, those who were good at maths were regarded much smarter than someone who was good at history or art. I think this is a main reason as to why the subject intimidated me slightly when it came to secondary school. Another reason is that I strongly believed the myth that we were born with either a mathematical or a literacy brain, I was always good at history so I then decided that it just wasn’t in my genes to be talented at maths.
There is also another myth circulating that people wont need maths once they leave school. I feel very strongly against this as we use maths in many aspects of life. When I get on the bus every morning I have to deal with money which is pretty much basic maths that I learned in primary school. When I become a teacher maths will be a large part of my job so that directly proves that this myth is rubbish.
I aim to incorporate group work into my maths lessons because I feel that children will be more likely to ask for help when they are in a group rather than on their own. As well as this speaking out in class is much less daunting because it wont be as humiliating giving a wrong answer when it is a group effort.
In today’s maths input there was an extremely interesting saying:
I hear, I forget
I see, I remember
I do, I understand
This backs up the idea that group work among other things, may be beneficial. Children learn better by actually trying things out instead of just working from textbooks. If they can apply their maths to everyday life and make it interesting they are more likely to remember it in the years to come.