Math makes me nervous.  Anxious.  Icky-feeling.

That's me.

I failed math at least 3 times in my academic career.  Then I went on to work in an advertising agency where, because of my naivete and desire to make it big no matter what job I was doing, I took a job doing media analysis (math) for a very powerful advertising firm every day.  I lasted 6 months.  I still get fidgety and giggle fearfully every time I am presented with something beyond basic math functions (finding percentages still makes me twitch).

When I began teaching, I met amazing math teachers, with whom I know I wouldn’t have failed.  Granted, I’m 37 now and I probably wouldn’t choose to take a math class, but they are wonderful.  Thank goodness the next few generations have a prayer.

This article, from Education Week, talks about math anxiety and some of the research surrounding it.  Enjoy or be validated- whatever suits your fancy.

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2 Responses to Mathanxious

  1. I had a father who helped me every night. Did I say every night? The fondest memories I have of him is dedicating time to me and my math homework. When my younger daughter was challenged by math, I made it a priority to “pay it forward” as my father had done with me. Today she is a math and science teacher!

  2. Tom Butler says:

    As a former math teacher, I know how the reality of math anxiety can paralyze students and keep them from solving the easiest problems. One of the things that helped with my classes, I think, was that I never, ever allowed my students to write the number wrong on a paper when they corrected homework – and I never put the number wrong on tests. It was very hard for the students to break that habit; but once they started to see only the number of answers they got correct, that seemed to help. They accepted the challenge to get more correct each time. To be fair, having one of my students make up a song and dance to explain how to factor polynomials probably didn’t hurt either, and could have explained why every student got 100% of the answers correct on that standard. I think that when the teacher himself/herself suffers from math anxiety, he/she only reinforces the students’ attitude. But if the teacher approaches math with a sense of joy and wonder, she/he can go a long way to helping the students overcome their anxiety and learn.

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