Do you suffer from math anxiety?
If you do, definitely follow that link. It debunks a lot of the misconceptions on why math is so difficult.
As a math teacher in a tutoring center, I encounter all varieties of math anxiety every day. I’ve seen it take the form of emotional breakdowns, severe behavioral issues, and even a weird form of short-term amnesia. I sympathize with my students every time. It’s only recently that I realized I let two years of my life define my perceptions of myself as a mathematician.
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely hit a few bumps in my pursuit of mathematical knowledge growing up, but none were as imprinting as the two years I spent with a teacher who really didn’t teach. It never mattered to me that I nearly aced Algebra II, Precalculus, and Calculus. It never mattered that I was the curve-breaker in my College Algebra and Trigonometry classes. I seemed to focus on those two years when I failed Algebra I and nearly failed Geometry, the two maths I now teach beautifully.
Math is just math. It’s a bunch of numbers and symbols, granted, but there’s something very common sense about how they work together. You use math more often during the day without ever realizing you do it, without suffering a math-related panic attack.
The next time you find yourself panicking over a math problem, just tell yourself, “Don’t be scared, it’s just a little math.”