Teachers are not supposed to be psychological counselors. When a student has significant emotional problems, teachers should make sure they don’t try to play that role and should instead refer the student to a school counselor or a licensed therapist. But what teachers can do is create an environment that helps alleviate the normal problems many students wrestle with and, at the very least, not add to them.
The internationally recognized NMC Horizon Report series and regional NMC Technology Outlooks are part of the NMC Horizon Project, a comprehensive research venture established in 2002 that identifies and describes key trends, significant challenges, and emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe. This volume, the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 K-12 Edition will examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry within the environment of pre-college education.
How can we do a better job of teaching kids math? A different curriculum? New pedagogical strategies? Personalized instruction through technology? All these worthy ideas have their adherents, but another method — reducing math anxiety — may both improve performance and help kids enjoy math more.
I have found that math anxiety is one of the biggest blocker to math skills. Last year I was asked to work with a group of second graders who were struggling with math. I decided to just start with a little group discussion and share about their feelings around math. I was striking. Each one confessed to hating math. They shared their pain and fear around it. Hearing each second grader share their struggle was heartbreaking, but also created a sense of hope among the group. They heard that others struggled too. We made light of it, we laughed. We talked about math as if it was an arch-energy to conquer. We were open and honest. Then I asked them one by one, what would make math less scary or painful. We listened and then and only then did I start the lesson. The lesson was on tricks and tools to conquer that fear. I can’t say that they all became fearless around math, but I can say for that moment some of the fear around math disappeared. Math should not determine your worth, yet often those that struggle most internalize this struggle to the point that it stays with them long into their adulthood. My hope as a teacher is to never let that be the case. Sometimes I am successful and sometime the fear of math wins out… but I will keep trying!
-Adventures in Learning
This is so true. I wish that my teachers would have said that it was okay to be anxious or scared about doing math as a way to relate to me as a student. As a teacher, I want children to know that it is okay to feel that way, and that they’re not alone in feeling that way. I still have anxiety about math at times because I was never extremely good at it; my confidence in my ability as I got into higher levels pretty much depleted. I’ve told students in my practicum classrooms that I am not good at math and that it sometimes is hard for me too as a way to see that I understand why they are saying “I hate math” or “I hate school” as a result of a math lesson. I hope by being able to use these experiences of discussion and relation to each other and myself help students not shy away from learning.
A team of researchers led by Michael T. French, professor of health economics at the University of Miami (UM), finds that high school grade point average (GPA) is a strong predictor of future earnings.
The findings, published recently in the Eastern Economic Journal, show that a one-point increase in high school GPA raises annual earnings in adulthood by around 12 percent for men and 14 percent for women.