If you have always enjoyed juggling numbers and mathematics is a subject that interests you, then you might consider becoming a mathematics teacher. In addition to math skills, you will also need patience, time management, planning, and organization skills. In this given article, we are going to explain what a maths teacher does, how to become one, and answers to frequently asked questions about this job role.
Math teachers are proficient in educating students with the principles of mathematics. Depending upon the grade level and classes, they might need to teach general math or a particular field of mathematics, such as geometry, algebra, or calculus. The main responsibility of a maths teacher is to help students cultivate the ability to understand and solve problems related to maths in preparation for their next grade level.
Math teachers typically work for middle or high schools, but they can teach any grade from kindergarten to 12th grade and beyond, depending on their qualifications. When it comes to classes like calculus, trigonometry, equations, and other high-level maths classes, the maths teacher needs extra training.
Teaching maths involves a variety of tasks and responsibilities such as -
- Developing lessons
- Preparing homework and assignments for students and checking them
- Preparing tests to check the level of understanding of students and correcting the tests
- Assessing the progress and ability of each student throughout the year
- Keeping up with the state standards and guidelines to ensure students meet established criteria
- Managing several classes in different grades
- Managing student behavior and communicating with parents and administrators
- Supervising study halls, field trips, extracurricular activities, and homerooms when required
- Providing sound advice about academic and career options for students
How to become a math teacher?
To become a mathematics teacher, you need a lot of education and dedication that leads to a state license. Thus, you must first find a fully accredited, state-approved teacher preparation program at a college that also supports a strong mathematics department. Apart from that, you should also focus on your non-education coursework on mathematics, as you will need to demonstrate your competence on a standardized examination. In fact, many mathematics teachers have double-majored in math or at least have a minor in the subject.
However, before you step into your first education course, you should make sure that you are fully dedicated to teaching. Your young students deserve a teacher who is passionate about teaching and helping young minds master the skills they will need in adulthood. Thus you should be prepared to put in lots of extra hours helping students with study sessions, extracurricular activities such as a math or science club, and even coaching if you have an aptitude for a particular sport.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a math teacher, try to consider following these steps:
- A bachelor's degree.
- Complete a student teaching internship program.
- Eligibility/ Qualification Exams
- Apply for a teaching certificate.
1. Earn a bachelor's degree
To become a math teacher, you essentially need a bachelor's degree. While you can apply for a state teaching license with any major, you might want to choose a major in education with a focus on math or a math-related major. You could study for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Secondary Education or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Elementary Education focusing on math.
You can choose Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mathematics Education, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education with a focus in math, or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mathematics with a focus on middle or secondary grades.
2. Complete a student teaching internship program
The student teaching internship program is mandatory in some states if you want to become a qualified maths teacher. This program is a full-time course where you will be supervised as you learn your way through the instructional classroom experience. Your teaching internship program should be done in the grade level you wish to be certified in. The program lasts from eight to 12 weeks, depending upon the kind of internship it is. The first part of your internship will involve observation of a teacher in a classroom and the second part will have you taking over a class.
3. Eligibility Exams
The state you live in will require you to take a test to become certified to teach in public schools or private schools. Most states require prospective teachers to take basic skills exams and subject knowledge competency exams. These tests will examine your reading, writing, and general math skills.
4. Apply for a teaching certificate
With a state teaching certificate, you will be eligible to apply for the math teaching jobs that you want. This is a license that will allow you to teach in the area you have specialized in and in the state that you wish to work in. You will be issued this license by the governing body in your home state. Then you can start applying for math teaching jobs at the grade level of your choice.
We have discussed some of the major aspects that one should know to become a math teacher. Stay tuned to this space for more informative articles.