At TKAS we have encouraged our teachers to develop and follow a self directed professional learning programme.
Ranier shares a part of her professional learning journey with maths this year.
At the beginning of this year I decided to start a journey of self-discovery. One part of this self-discovery is in challenging myself to learn more about maths and how to teach it effectively.
I have realised that I actually know very little about this subject and because I had no confidence in myself and my knowledge about it, it would fill me with fear.
My belief that you either had a maths brain or not, has been reinforced many times over my life time. This came from outside sources or from myself telling myself that I really am no good at it. The quickest way for my brain to shut down towards maths was to mention the word Algebra. (Which I still have no understanding of it.)
A couple of weeks ago I started this online maths course and within the first session I had had my concepts about maths challenged and found wanting. I suddenly realised that my beliefs about Maths, that it is just not for me or I just don’t have a Maths brain was a lie and I had been telling myself this and listening to it for a very long time.
What really did it for me was watching a video of how the brain works and listening to a story of how this girl had had half of her brain totally removed. At first she was paralysed down one side of her body and doctors told her she would never fully recover. She astounded doctors as with in a relatively short period of time she had become fully functioning again.
So If that can happen to her then changing the way I view maths and putting some effort into learning it should be much easier for my brain that growing a whole new side.