Are you struggling to reach your maths students or can’t understand why your child is avoiding it?
Here’s the process I use for disengaged students, which you can steal and adapt to your situation:
1 Be human first, teacher second
Start by giving them a bit of space and removing the pressure of having to be good at maths.
Remind them that they are so much more than their exam grade and that maths isn’t the only thing they need in life.
Try and build a connection with them and understand their emotions and stress.
2 Have a laugh – even if its a terrible dad joke
Learning, teaching and parenting don’t need to be boring and stressful.
Remember to relax and have a laugh as often as possible.
3 Find out what’s stopping them engaging
When your child or student feels ready, they will want to open up and talk to you.
Ask them gently, in a no pressure way, what it is about maths that’s stopping them engaging.
A lot of the time it will be something like fear of failure, worrying about not being enough etc.
Be sure to reassure them a lot. Remind them that even if they fail, it doesn’t change who they are as a person.
There is nothing wrong with resits – in fact most of life is failing and retrying!
4 Just listen
Let them talk and just listen without giving your opinion.
Listen to understand, not to respond or push them a certain way.
5 Ask them to get back on track by starting small
Get them on your side and make a plan that involves just doing some easy, small maths tasks.
The aim here is to build their confidence and increase their motivation.
This has worked amazingly for my students, they’ve gone from hating maths (school in general) to being excited about the work and wanting to do their best.
Hope that helps.
Please do reach out if you need any more help or advice.