Top tips on how Maths Teachers can help students feel confident in this subject


If there is one curriculum subject that tends to trigger a fight, flight or freeze response like no other, it is maths.

Often viewed as the marmite among all school subjects, as some love it and others hate it, maths remains a core subject and low confidence in it can have can have a huge impact on a pupil’s learning.

So what approaches can maths teachers take to instil confidence in their pupils and ensure they are best placed to excel in their exams? Here we’ve picked out some top tips.

Recognise that every pupil is different

Every pupil will understand maths in a slightly different way, and that needs to be factored into teaching


While some may understand a concept straight away, others may not, so they’ll need to be taught in a way which enables them to gradually learn it.

The key is to change the mind-set of pupils who may immediately want to give up if they don’t understand something, so that they take time to re-read what they are faced with.

Remove the fear of mistakes

Mistakes are part of the learning process in maths and in order for pupils to feel confident in the subject, it’s vital that they understand that.

By removing, or even reducing, the fear of mistakes, pupils are more likely to challenge themselves and take on tougher maths problems.

Look to praise elements of a child’s working out too – in some instances the understanding of the methodology might exist, although it may not be being applied correctly.

Showcase your passion for maths!

Maths teachers can act as a source of inspiration for their pupils purely by being passionate about their subject.

Where that infectious enthusiasm for their subject is there to see, it will ultimately encourage children to view maths in a positive way too.

Not only can this air of positivity be felt in the classroom, it can also help to build pupil’s confidence in the long-term.

Create open-ended challenges

Many pupils will view maths problems as a pursuit of a correct answer, but lessons can be made highly engaging when their given different routes to 


Rather than looking at right and wrong, maths teachers can provide open-ended problems and encourage pupils to explore the many ways of approaching it.

This way, it’s possible to drive creative thinking and to use a youngster’s inquisitive nature to develop their understanding of the subject.

Use games to develop thinking

Maths can be made more engaging via the use of games and other visually stimulating activities, and this can have a knock-on impact when it comes to boosting confidence.

Where pupils embrace the lessons, they are more likely to take on board what they are learning which should provide a confidence boost in the long-term.

Encourage pupils to create their own maths games and challenges, and then use them as break-out activities in the classroom to ensure teaching is as varied as possible.