Keep Calm and Math On: 3 Facts About the Math Mindset
A teacher’s mindset about math matters! Did you know that a teacher’s math mindset can influence their students’ math learning?
Fact #1 Research has found that there is a relationship between a teacher’s personal feelings towards math and their students’ math learning. (Ramirez, Hooper, Kresting, Ferguson, & Yeager, 2018).
A teacher’s mindset about math matters because that teacher’s math mindset can influence their students’ learning of certain math concepts. A teacher’s mindset, attitude, and conceptions about math can influence a student’s confidence and ability in learning math concepts.
When reflecting on one’s own math mindset, first reflect on these questions:
– How confident do I feel understanding this math concept myself? Why or why not?
– How confident do I feel teaching this math concept to others? Why or why not?
– How can I improve my confidence in understanding this math concept?
– How can I improve my confidence in teaching this math concept to others?
Fact # 2
Fact #2 Research has found that teacher math anxiety influences their students’ math learning (Sisler, 2017; Ramirez et al., 2018).
It is necessary to reflect on personal teaching confidence level, attitude, and mindset about math concepts when planning and teaching particular math lessons.
If a beginning teacher is unconfident planning and teaching a particular math concept, there are a few steps to take that can quickly boost confidence with that math lesson.
First, the development of self-awareness of personal feelings towards a confidence level when teaching a math lesson is essential. In order to boost a teacher’s confidence level, there are various educational texts and educational videos that can be referenced which can help increase understanding and confidence in teaching. So reduce feelings of anxiety towards teaching math by first developing the self-awareness of personal attitude towards different math concepts. If you’re interested in learning a few ways to develop a positive mindset teacher habits, check out the book Positive Mindset Habits for Teachers: 10 Steps to Reduce Stress, Increase Student Engagement and Reignite Your Passion for Teaching.
Often, beginning teachers may feel shy to ask a fellow colleague for advice, especially when the advice needed is regarding how to teach a particular math concept. And in fact, it’s completely fine to ask fellow colleagues for advice, assistance, resources, strategies, and help.
Veteran teachers have already learned the types of math strategies and methods that work and the ones that don’t. Experienced teachers can also provide informal mentorship to beginning teachers with many necessary strategies and resources. So go ahead beginning teacher, be confident and ask your teacher neighbor for advice on that particular math concept. Teachers love helping other teachers!
Fact # 3
Fact #3 Research has found that adequate preparation for a math lesson can improve the standards of achievement in a classroom.
In fact, teacher time management skills have a relationship in the improvement of standards of achievement for students (Nelson, 2012).
For instance, strategically planned math units and lessons that contain details of student learning standards and outcomes can help to ensure teachers can implement math lessons more effectively.
Another way beginning teachers can improve their math mindset and confidence in the classroom is through adequate preparation of math lessons and materials. For example, teachers can prepare for the math lesson ahead of time with necessary lesson materials, printouts, manipulatives, presentations, student practice concepts, etc. As a result, adequate preparation for a math lesson can influence a teacher’s confidence in teaching.
In fact, it can be a daunting feeling to realize you’re missing something you need for the math lesson at that very moment you’re teaching. So, avoid that haunting teaching moment by ensuring all math lessons and lesson materials are ready to go prior to teaching the lesson.
In conclusion, a teacher’s mindset about math matters!
So download the 10 Steps Guide to Create Effective and Engaging Math Lessons to learn more about the Math Mindset and to begin rating your own math confidence level today!
So are you interested in reading more math teaching tips?
Another blog post you may be interested in is about 3 Creative Ways to Increase Math Vocabulary.
Nelson, I. (2012). Time Management for Teachers. doi: 10.4324/9780203062135
Ramirez, G., Hooper, S. Y., Kersting, N. B., Ferguson, R., & Yeager, D. (2018). Teacher Math Anxiety Relates to Adolescent Students’ Math Achievement. AERA Open, 4(1)
Sisler, S. M. (2017). Mindsets in the Classroom. Leadership in Mathematics Education.