Here are some strategies to help your students stop identifying themselves as "bad at math."
Michelle Russell recently wrote an article for MiddleWeb called "When 'Math Hate' Curbs Your Teacher Enthusiasm." In it, she addresses the toll it can take on a math teacher to feel that their students "hate" math and are not engaged in what she's trying to teach them. She writes, "The negativity doesn’t stop with students either. Many times when calling home to a parent, I hear exactly the same thing. And sadly, even when talking to other teachers it’s not uncommon to hear 'math bashing.'"
It's tragic that so many people—children and adults alike—feel comfortable identifying themselves as "bad at math."
She offers some good advice for teachers to overcome these kinds of negative attitudes towards math, including:
"See past what the students are saying and understand why they are saying it. I think a lot of students say they don’t like math because they are struggling..."
"Attend professional development that you personally find exciting, interesting, and worthwhile. Recently, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a three-day professional development experience with other math teachers. I left feeling re-energized and excited after spending so much quality time with other teachers who absolutely get it."
We’ve got some additional strategies to share for getting your students beyond 'math hate.'
We hope this helps. Now go forth and spread that math love far and wide!
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