“Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I assure you that mine are greater.” – Albert Einstein

Are teachers increasing students’ anxiety levels in mathematics, especially as state testing approaches? Teachers may very well be swelling the negative feelings students harbor about math by teaching procedurally and coddling students when they struggle, thereby giving them a sign that this is too hard for them. When state testing approaches, teachers often get into panic mode and rush through reviewing concepts and skills randomly. When a sense of urgency should be high, we need to keep in mind that the brain can only hold so much information at once and it’s extremely important to keep that information organized so that students can connect to prior learning and benefit from this reinforcement. If we start to see students with a zombie look, it might be that the way teachers are reviewing is so disconnected that they are building up anxiety. How much will this affect students’ ability to perform on the math test?

“Unfortunately math continues to be taught in ways that are far removed from the research evidence on ways to teach well, and many ineffective classroom practices – timed tests, speed pressure, procedural teaching – are the reasons for the vast numbers of children and adults with math anxiety.” Jo Boaler

Read about five problems Stanford expert Jo Boaler says we can solve to end math madness.It’s Time to Stop the Clock on Math Anxiety

Sometimes the math anxiety that parents and teachers have transfers over to students. Learn how you can overcome math anxiety.

How to Overcome Math Anxiety