I’ve always had a very love/hate relationship with mathematics. Throughout primary school I was always in the top maths group, coped well with the work I was given and, as far as I can remember, thoroughly enjoyed the work I was doing. Upon entering secondary school, I still felt confident with my maths abilities however I think some of the enjoyment started to die down, this may have been due to the work I was given or the way it was being taught in a secondary school setting. Despite this, I still felt very confident throughout my first and second year.
Going into third year, I was put into a credit/general Standard Grade class. Again, I felt very confident throughout my third and fourth year studies and began to enjoy it more which I believe was due to my teacher’s style of teaching. Admittedly, there were some aspects of the course which took me longer to grasp than others but I managed finish the two years with a credit grade 1.
My time in Higher Maths is where I believe my maths anxiety began. During Higher Maths we would be given a homework worksheet most weeks which we would have a week to complete and were not allowed to leave any questions unanswered without a valid reason (“I couldn’t do it” was not a valid reason). So, every week I found myself at my maths teacher’s classroom door asking for help with one or two questions on that week’s homework. A vast majority of the time, once the method had been clearly explained to me I managed to solve the equation myself. Looking back, this makes me think it wasn’t the numbers and equations I found difficult but the problem solving and the words used in the questions. Despite my difficulties throughout Higher Maths I did manage to pass all three NABS and was able to sit the exam. I think this also proves that I do have skills in maths and I am able to do the arithmetic I just need to build my confidence within the subject.
But how do I build my confidence? One of my goals for this year is to build my confidence in mathematics so I do not feel high levels of anxiety when teaching it in the classroom. I aim to do this by completing the Online Maths Assessment multiple times throughout the year, hopefully improving each time. Additionally, I plan to do some reading around the subject in order to familiarise myself with some of the vocabulary used.