What Makes an Effective Mathematics Teacher?

Ayaz KhanEffective teachers of mathematics know the pedagogy that determines how their students successfully learn. They adopt different methods according to the specific unit of syllabus, available resources and number of students in a class. Alongside this, they show new concepts as well as using visuals and images to show the same topic to different year groups. This shows to the teacher which method suits each individual student as everyone learns differently, from kinaesthetic and auditory learners to the visually inclined.
An effective maths teacher always looks for improvement on how to develop proficiency in teaching. By this they don’t keep teaching confined within a lesson but seize opportunities to get students out of the classroom to connect their learning to the real world in real-time. They improve their mathematical thinking by talking about how maths is integrated with different subjects, such as arts and music.

Regardless of what age group is being taught, effective maths teaching involves students getting to learn the way relational understanding works rather than instrumental understanding. While instrumental understanding is knowing and applying the rule, relational understanding is the same but also knowing why it works and how it connects to other rules. In most schools, instrumental understanding is used but with specific students it is better to use relational understanding to explain as it makes mathematical concepts easier to remember and understand.

Effective maths teaching when planning a lesson works different compared to when teaching a lesson.  Whilst planning a lesson you have to make sure each step is explained to a very good level. This means, if you were to put yourself in the shoes of a student you would be able to follow the lesson through with ease. 

During a lesson, effective maths teaching involves different factors such as differentiating learning for the students (this can be the use of different methods such as mini-whiteboards, PowerPoints and worksheets). Also, questioning at all times to make sure the students have the right understanding. Lastly, to manage behaviour in a way where the students are productive. This can involve having routines such as handing and collecting books by a specific student or whether to put your hand up when answering a question. 
Finally, it is key to hand out homework every week so you can monitor student learning and help students evaluate their own learning. 

By Ayaz Khan

Find Ayaz on Instagram as @Ayaaaz.98.


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