Maths is one of the most complicated subjects to teach, since the complexity of many formulas and problems can cause boredom on the part of the students. They may feel powerless when they can’t solve an exercise and, consequently, slow the pace and dynamism of the class. So it’s important that you know some techniques to improve as a math teacher and make your classes entertaining and didactic.
5 Keys to Being a Better Math Teacher
Knowing all the algebraic formulas, equations and being an expert in solving numerical problems is fundamental to being a good math teacher, but you must also apply a series of techniques to get closer to the students and transmit your passion for this subject. Here are some tips that you may find useful.
1. Games in class
One of the great strengths of mathematics is that it’s very easy to organize numerical games in class that generate a friendly and fun atmosphere among students. You can use GoConqr quizzes to prepare numerical tests related to the subject that you have to teach in order to encourage students to test their knowledge and take an active part in the lesson. As a math teacher can also divide the class into different groups and set up competitions between them with a final prize for the winning team, with the aim of encouraging motivation and competitiveness.
2. Empathy with students
As simple as you see the problems you give in class, you have to keep in mind that there will always be some students that have more difficulties. In these cases, it’s essential to be patient and explain it as many times as necessary so that no student goes home without understanding the lesson. Therefore, you must work your empathy so that your classes are more enriching and understandable for students.
3. Real cases
As maths are so abstract, it’s usual to hear in class some students wondering about “how this serves me in the future”. Considering that many mathematical problems are purely numerical, it’s logical to raise this question. So, as a math teacher you should be able to elaborate problems related to day-to-day situations so that your students can find more meaning in them. These approaches require more time and effort, but your students will benefit.
4. Do not include in the exam questions that you haven’t addressed in class
Sometime, a math teacher may tend to include problems in the exams that are different from those presented in class, with the objective to assess if students are able to make logical reasoning based on their knowledge. Although it’s a legitimate technique, it may be considered unfair by some students. So it’s better to demonstrate all possible approaches in class before putting them in a written test, since the most important thing isn’t always to assess the quick-thinking abilities of each student, but to pass on your mathematical knowledge. If the test is set by an external examiner, it is important that students are prepared for all eventualities.
5. Review class exercises and help
While students perform individual exercises in class, maths teachers can’t take advantage of the situation to relax and take a break, but quite the opposite. You must be on top of the students and answer every one of their doubts. You should also keep in mind that some students are more introverted and shy, so they probably don’t have the confidence to raise their hand and ask questions. That’s why you should consult each student and intervene actively during the development of activities in class.
Following these tips, your skills as a math teacher will improve and your classes will be more enjoyable for students. If you have a suggestion or technique that you consider that may be interesting, do not hesitate to comment on it through our social networks.