If you're an individual who's enthralled by equations, geometry, fractions, and all aspects of mathematics, a career as a math teacher may be for you. Math teachers work in elementary and middle schools, educating students about the world of numbers. Most need a bachelor's degree, certification, and potentially a license, but many continue their education to become professors.
Math teachers work in classrooms in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. They impart required mathematics curricula to their students, which might include helping them prepare for standardized tests and college entrance exams. Math teachers can train in several ways. Some have bachelor's degrees in education and specialize in mathematics. Others hold bachelor's degrees in mathematics and complete an education program as well. All math teachers in public schools must meet their state's certification or licensing requirements, which usually calls for competency examinations.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in education or mathematics with teacher education courses|
|Other Requirements||State licensing examination|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% for all elementary, middle and high school teachers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$54,890 for all elementary teachers except special education, $57,200 for secondary school teachers except special education*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Job Description of a Math Teacher
Math teachers work with students of all ages in classrooms around the United States. Typically, they teach children and teens, but some math teachers may also teach adults, or continue their careers at community colleges or universities. Their goal is to help pupils develop critical-thinking abilities by gaining an understanding of mathematic concepts.
Most math teaching positions require a minimum of an undergraduate degree. Math teachers can choose to major in mathematics and then complete a master's degree or certification program in teaching. Alternatively, they can major in education with an emphasis on mathematics. Education degree programs prepare math teachers specifically for the classroom and teaching math to students. They also focus on the art of teaching, including topics such as curriculum development, along with how students learn.
Math teachers can also take specific courses focused on how to teach children at certain ages. Elementary education courses, for example, may help math teachers better understand how to impart knowledge to children in elementary school.
All states require math teachers who work in public schools to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, so teachers should check with their state's Board of Education before seeking employment. However, all states require the completion of a bachelor's degree program, as well as earning a teaching certificate. Other common requirements include passing technology and basic skills tests, and partaking in hours of continuing education.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
Math teachers actively instruct students, create lesson plans, assign and correct homework, manage students in the classroom, communicate with parents, and help students prepare for standardized testing. Math teacher job duties can vary significantly between elementary school and higher grade levels. In high schools, for example, math teachers may need to help students prepare for graduation and college entry exams, while in elementary schools the mastery of basic skills is of paramount importance.
Bestowing students with arithmetic and problem-solving skills is one of the many duties of a math teacher. An undergraduate degree is required for most math teaching jobs, as well as certification. However, licensure is mandatory to teach in a public school.