First year anxiety

The second week of term is over and I already have weekly sessions booked for 121 maths support. It has been fascinating listening to the students’ stories of their experiences with maths and learning.

The thing that has really struck me is the similarities of the school experiences between ‘young’ and ‘mature’ students. The recurrent theme is that of being singled out, mocked or clashing personalities with their teachers.

Negative experiences at school can lead to anxieties when studying at an older age. For mamy of my students, the problem is not their academic ability but their psychological response to studying. They have convinced themselves that they cannot do something such as maths and therefore fail when they attempt it.

The battle for me is helping these students to change the way they view their abilities first then they can successfully learn maths.

Hopefully! 🙂


One thought on “First year anxiety

  1. Your experience really echoes what I find with our students. We have BSc and Post grad Diploma students training to be radiographers. Everyone bangs on about how wonderful the PgDippers are because they’re ‘mature’. They range in age from 21-45ish, whilst the BSc students are 18-45ish. The difference isn’t age it’s having a background of academic success which gives them the confidence to tackle the new skills and knowledge they need to acquire. Most of the ‘mature’ BSc students have come in through the access route often having left school early to marry and have kids, jobs have generally been in the lower pay range. They have terrible confidence issues and need to be nurtured through the whole 3 years to ensure they complete and pass at the end. They turn out to be good, careful radiographers but it’s really hard work to get them there.

    Liked by 1 person

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