American students are bombing math. In 2015, a mere 25 percent of high school seniors were proficient in the subject, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, which produces the most reliable data on academic competency. Efforts to improve these numbers have abounded. Dozens of states have incorporated more rigorous standards through the implementation of the Common Core. Many schools have tweaked math classes to include more visualization and lessons that relate more to real life.
A growing number of educators, including those of us at Mathnasium, believe that to help struggling students get ahead, teachers must also attack the emotional barriers that are holding them back. Repeated failures, can be deeply scarring. Negative feelings spiral into damaging self-talk that eventually paralyzes students. In fact, it's not uncommon to find that students don’t actually get hard problems "wrong"; they don’t even bother to attempt them.
Click below to read how math teacher, Michael Gallin, uses his own personal approach to re-energize students plagued by past failures, by merging specific emotional skills with academic ones: