Math can inherently cause anxiety. Why? Math is filled with unsolved problems – most of them not too simple. And your job is to solve them! And if you’re talking SAT or ACT math, or even just doing class-time assignments - you have to solve them quickly! Sounds like a recipe for stress.
Part of the solution is realizing that learning math, in general, is really honing the process of problem-solving – a life-long skill, a life-long process, a life-long necessity. We will always be faced with problems. And solving them is not always easy. We want to say – “math is fun!” and “math is all around you!” – which can be true – but truer still is – math is hard work. Math is figuring stuff out. Math success comes with allowing yourself to make mistakes – and learning from them. And that is really what a lot of us struggle with.
Those concepts are part of what I instill in tutoring sessions – it’s ok to slow down, sort through the process, take a wrong turn and double back. That’s usually the way you learn the most! As a tutor, I want to help lessen students’ anxiety. Help them through the process, show them a way, and give them the foundations and fundamentals to equip them to solve the problems on their own – usually in their own way. And an added benefit is - they start solving new problems quicker too. After they get the sense this is a process, what a joy to see those wheels turning in their heads, and see those stress levels go down!