Math ability is essential.
Teachers play a crucial role in building it in their students.
There is no inclusive list of what a Maths teacher should do. However, observing four aspects, and working on them along with the students and parents, can make a huge difference.
1. Understanding the concepts:
The teacher should look at from the student’s level. They should observe, and assess whether the student has understood the concept. One of the best techniques is to ask right questions. Also, make the student explain in her/ his own words. If found wanting, the teacher should spend more time, and try out explaining differently so that the student gets it.
2. Analysing problems:
Is the student able to understand the problem well? This is very important because unless she/ he makes out what is given, and what has been asked to find out correctly and completely, she/ he might choose the wrong method.
3. Connecting prior learning to new situations:
This is a logical progression from the first two. The student knows the concepts well, and is able to decipher the question; what if she/ he is not able to make the right connection?
4. Careless mistakes:
All the above three are in place; however, many students fail to score, especially in objective type questions only because they are prone to make careless mistakes. In long-answer or descriptive type they stand a chance of scoring for whatever steps done correctly, but in objective type what matters is only the final answer. In most of the competitive exams they need to face this situation. Very crucial for 11 Plus.
All of the above are workable. What we need is a systematic approach and expert teachers to assist our children.