The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Instructor zeroes in on math fears

By Jason Middlebrooks/ reporter

Students should realize they are not alone when it comes to math struggles, a NW instructor said Sept. 8.

Kristine Johnson and learning lab manager Rolando Flores presented Math Anxiety, tackling the common problems students might have when approaching math.

“Math anxiety is an emotional and physical response that hinders the ability to be successful in math,” Johnson said.

With the aid of a PowerPoint, Johnson showed the students that math anxiety is not intellectual.

“It [anxiety] is learned,” Johnson said. “Therefore, it can be unlearned.”

It does not mean that one cannot learn math.

“I can say that I am not a piano person because I do not know how to play a piano,” she said. “That does not mean that I can’t learn how to play the piano.”

Johnson said most people are taught that math is supposed to be hard.

Math anxiety can be contributed to negative life experiences with the subject, cultural attitudes and the belief that math is a measure of intelligence.

“There is a cure,” she said.

Time management, timeliness in doing homework after class, repetition on equations, practice with testing conditions and positivity are some of the many keys of overcoming math anxiety, along with using the campus resources.

One major resource in particular on NW is the math lab in the Learning Emporium, which Flores manages.

“I can relate to [students],” he said. “I was, unfortunately, that bad student.”

Flores said the emporium personnel knows math can be a difficult subject for some to understand. He said the tutoring staff is diverse and can relate to any student at any level of difficulty.

Tutoring for Flores and the emporium instructors means providing an environment where students can be comfortable, where students can be welcomed.

He said it is not a “miracle solution” nor a “class replacement.” It will take time and patience to gain the confidence and increased self-esteem that is needed to cure math anxiety.

“It depends on you,” he said. “More interaction [with the instructors] leads to getting more back.”

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