Mathematics is a contemporary subject which is taught all the way from an elementary school to the Ph.D. level. Many mathematics teachers usually face different challenges with their students because of different reasons. It is funny how mathematics is considered one of the simplest and most enjoyable subject in the world while others consider it as one of the most difficult subjects, and they have sort of fear of it (Lester 67). It is these conflicting opinions that have brought a lot of challenges to mathematics teachers.
As a high school mathematics teacher, I have had different challenges teaching math to high school students. High school students are in their adolescent stage and therefore, they are very sensitive and should be handled appropriately. One of the most challenging experiences that I have had during my teaching career is teaching math to a class of students who all had a negative attitude towards mathematics. They feared math and they declared that they were not good at it. This was very challenging because I had to make sure that at the end of the semester, all of them would excel in mathematics and they would change their attitude. Getting them to change their attitude was the biggest challenge. Change of attitude would be the beginning of liking something and excelling in it. I, therefore, had to come up with ways of ensuring that I overcome the challenge (Remillard 98).
One of my strategies was selective teaching. This is the teaching method where the teacher selects what to teach the students, when to teach them and how to teach them (Brodie 105). The teacher does not follow protocol or normal teaching procedures when carrying out selective teaching. I had to select the easier topics to teach the students in the beginning. This was to ensure that I get their attention and hold their interest by giving them easy things to do so that they would think that math is after all doable and easy and that they could do it.
Brodie, Karin. Teaching Mathematical Reasoning in Secondary School Classrooms. California: Springer. 2009. Print
Lester, Frank. Second Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning. Boston: IAP. 2009. Print
Remillard, Janine. Mathematics Teachers at Work: Connecting Curriculum Materials and Classroom Instruction. New York: Taylor & Francis. 2008. Print
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