How to Become a Math Teacher

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Mathematics education is an important part of education at all levels. Highly trained licensed professionals that are mathematics specialists are required to provide mathematical instruction a variety of students. This is the job of math teachers.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

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What does a math teacher do?

Math teachers educate students about many different mathematical concepts such as numeric values, function, equations, and many other mathematical principles. They teach students at all grade levels, but most teach middle school and high school students. At the elementary level math teachers typically teach general mathematics. At the middle and high school levels, most math teachers specialize in a specific area such as pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, geometry, pre-calculus, and calculus. They are responsible for creating lesson plans, distributing assignments and homework, and evaluating student performance through tests and projects. Like all other teachers, math teachers must maintain classroom order and take disciplinary measures when dealing with disorderly students.

What kind of training does a math teacher need?

Math teachers must have at least a bachelor degree in mathematics and complete a teacher training programs. Most programs include core teaching concepts and student teaching experience in real classrooms under the supervision of a licensed teacher. It is important for students to choose a program accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education to remain competitive in the field. Many aspiring math teachers work as teachers’ aids to gain hands-on experience.

All states require public math teachers to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but typically include a bachelor degree, completion of an approved teacher training programs with a supervised students teaching component, and passing a written examination. Private school math teachers often do not need a license, but must usually have a bachelor degree. Math teachers must maintain their licenses by completing annual continuing education courses.

What are the prospects for a career as a math teacher?

Employment of all teachers is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 12% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Increase in student enrollment and more mathematics education will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially in less desirable school districts. Job openings will also arise from the need to replace math teachers who retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do math teachers make?

As of October 2009, the average annual salary for math teachers is $36,000; average annual salaries vary among location, degree, position, and benefits (2).

A career as a math teacher is an excellent choice for individuals who have a strong passion for mathematics and wish to teach mathematical concepts to a variety of students. Math teachers must have patience and be able to teach students from a variety of backgrounds. They must be compassionate about individual differences and effectively handle stressful situations. They must also be creative, encouraging, and motivating. Organization, dependability, and cooperation are also essential qualities.

Joshua T Osborne

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