In March, I had the pleasure of attending MathsConf31, an annual conference organized by La Salle Complete Maths. One of the sessions that stood out to me was Jason Gottfried’s presentation on using coloured counters to teach prime numbers, which was both inspiring and innovative. As a tutor, I found it extremely useful in engaging my students and making math fun. I was even invited to talk about my experience on Dave Taylor’s Teaching Together podcast.
These delightful little drawings were done for me on our BitPapers, by a 9-year-old pupil who I have now been teaching online for a month. She came to me with severe Maths Anxiety and was unable to cope with Maths at her school. She was deep into a cycle of anxiety. A couple of sessions in, she is laughing, joking, and happily drawing me pictures and engaging well with our Maths lesson. A complete change in her feelings towards maths in less than a month!
What magic have I managed to do, you may well be asking? No magic, just loads of empathy and other strategies which help bring down the anxiety and the barriers to learning and have enabled her to start to enjoy Maths and learning again.
Snakes. Who loves snakes? Certainly not me! I have always been scared and rather phobic about them, and I can feel my heart beating faster at the mere thought.
But this afternoon, I spent about 30 minutes discussing snakes: species, ways of caring for them and breeding them. This did not put me in my comfort zone at all!
However, my Neurodiverse, highly Maths Anxious, and chronically disengaged pupil absolutely loves snakes and has three of them!
My role is so much more than just delivering Maths content; it is about empowering children to feel better about themselves and get themselves in the right mindset to start to learn.
Next lesson, I am sure she will be less anxious and will be able to trust me, relax and be more able to engage with her learning. So half an hour of snake talk for me will have been more than worth it!
Now taking Bookings for CPD Masterclass Workshops.
Are you starting out on your Tutoring journey and unsure how to effectively teach younger or less able children online?
Or, are you an experienced teacher, but transitioning over to tutor online and hesitant to do this confidently?
If the answer to either of these is yes, you might be interested in attending one of the one-off online CPD Masterclass workshops that I run.
I am now taking bookings via Eventbrite for the next set of workshops which are running in September and October.