Math Teacher Job Description, Duties and Responsibilities

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a math teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and licensing to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

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 (2012-22)12% for all elementary and middle school teachers, 6% for all high school teachers*
Median Salary (2013)* $53,590 for all elementary teachers except special education, $55,360 for secondary school teachers except special education*

Sources: * 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.

Training Requirements

Most math teaching positions require a minimum of an undergraduate degree. Math teachers can choose to major in mathematics and then complete a teaching master's degree or certification program. 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.

Licensing

All states require math teachers who work in public schools to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, and 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.

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