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.