Do you want to learn how to master math problems like a math teacher? Learn from the experts.
Despite what you may think, math teachers are not perfect in math. Actually, all teachers have to work for years to develop their knowledge and skills. Math teachers, in particular, not only have to learn math, but they also have to be able to teach it in a logical step-by-step manner so students can understand how to find solutions to problems.
One of the most effective ways a math teacher helps students learn math is by demonstrating examples of how problems are solved, providing them with a model to follow. Consequently, students are inspired to strive for the same level of proficiency in solving math problems as their math teachers.
Here are four key areas that I, as a math teacher, focus on when working through a math problem that will help you master math problems like a math teacher:
1. Begin the Problem with Alertness
When I start a math problem, I prioritize placing my mind on “alert.” Similar to my military days, I prepare myself to be vigilant and identify any potential sources of failure. Furthermore, if I find myself lacking focus, I take a moment to allow my mind to settle before starting the problem. Therefore, before you begin your math problems, it is essential to ensure that you are mentally prepared and fully focused.
2. Write One Step, Then Double-Check
When I begin working on a problem, I adopt a step-by-step approach. Instead of attempting to consider multiple steps simultaneously, I concentrate solely on one step at a time. What’s more, I look for any errors that might have occurred during a step.
From experience, I’ve learned how easy it is to make careless mistakes, so I never assume anything and make sure to double-check everything. Therefore, if I, as an experienced math teacher, find it necessary to work through a problem in this manner, it’s equally crucial for you to do so as well.
3. Don’t Break The Speed Limit
While working on a problem, I let my accuracy dictate my pace. I prioritize maintaining focus and precision over rushing through the steps. It’s essential to strike a balance between effectiveness and efficiency. Don’t sacrifice accuracy for speed…maintain a steady pace.
4. Take Pride in Your Work
Once I have correctly solved a math problem in a logical manner that makes sense to both myself and others, I feel a sense of accomplishment. The reason for this pride is that it confirms my discipline and ability to stay focused. Discipline and focus are essential qualities for success in life. Therefore, when you solve math problems accurately, you are practicing excellent habits that contribute to your overall success. Embrace this achievement and take pride in it!
It takes time and effort for teachers to learn strategies that develop their skills for mastering math problems. Observe their demonstrations and techniques so that you, too, can develop the skills to master math problems like a math teacher. Trust me, as you dive into more advanced math concepts, these areas I mentioned become increasingly critical for success.