What makes a good maths teacher?
Each student has their preferred subjects and not everyone is going to enjoy maths, but if you are a good maths teacher you will be able to vastly improve their outlook on the subject. We have put together some advice for new and existing maths teachers who are looking to improve their lessons and relationship with their students, which we hope you will find useful.
Knowledge and Passion
Making sure you have a comprehensive knowledge of maths is vital to your success as a maths teacher. Having confidence in your ability and knowledge will be recognised by your pupils and they will respect you more for it. Teachers registered with Tradewind have access to free CPD courses which will provide you with advice and many useful resources. However, you may want to look into taking specific additional maths courses to enhance your understanding of the subject, in particular, if there is an area that you are not so clued up on.
Structure and Variation
Having a structure is great and necessary to get the work done, however, too much structure can bore a class. Make sure you keep things varied every now and then to liven up your lessons. Getting your students to participate in a group activity or calling them up to help you with a sum on the board gets them thinking and ensures that they are paying attention.Remember that different students learn things in different ways some are more interactive than others.
Encouragement and Understanding
As a teacher, your role is to provide support and guidance. Don’t pull awkward faces or get frustrated if a student gets it wrong, as this will not encourage them to understand the problem and, as a result, they could turn into quitters. Help them figure out where they went wrong and they can then continue problem-solving until they reach the right answer. Life outside of school or a child simply having a bad day can often affect their ability to concentrate a good teacher will understand their situation and try and help them refocus their attention.
Maths is also about teaching your students good problem-solving skills that they can use in everyday life. Make sure that within your lessons that you are teaching to remind them of how this could be useful for them after school. You can achieve this by giving examples of how the particular task could assist someone in a particular job role. They are many ‘cool’ jobs you can use as examples that need maths such as Stockbrokers, Fashion Designers, Car Designers etc.
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