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About Teaching Mathematics
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Teaching mathematics demands great sensitivity as well as perceptiveness. Most of the people take up math classes just because that is a need for them in their major and not because they are interested in that field. Also you can easily find people who are often terrified thinking about a subject like math. Teachers need to set an example for their students that though math as a subject is very challenging however it can be accomplished by hard work, persistence and discipline just like any of the other subjects. These preconceived notions that the students have for the subject are the biggest hindrance and as a teacher you could always help them break down such mental barriers. Teachers can provide their students with alternative methods for looking at different problems.
Some of the alternative methods that could be put to use while teaching mathematics:
Provide the students with some convincing content for studying: You can never trick the students to find something convincing especially when it isn't. For example, you need to take some time for developing few topics for studying throughout the entire year which you feel is compelling - topics such as presidential campaigns, the economy, human body etc. Look for a reliable way for presenting the result - the web, magazine or the paper. Make sure to keep the required project authentic, small as well as do-able.
Students of such teachers who take the initiative to take this sort of time generally have better results in the state tests as compared to the students of those teachers who are stuck with the text books.
Do not use irrelevant rewards: It has been observed that when the teachers try to bribe their students it is certain that the culture of mathematics class is sure to go down over a certain period, even though the intensions of the teacher are good. The teachers try to bribe their students because they care for them and hence expect the best from them.
Build up a culture wherein students are teaching each other: Most of the teachers feel that while a student is teaching another they are generally cheating. However it has been noticed that the math class programs can be made better if the encouraged students are teamed up at a fixed time during the week. By doing this you will definitely observe that the students comprehend better in group compared to when they are involved in individual tasks.