Math Teacher Requirements and Career Information
Math teachers educate students at all levels, from elementary school to the university level. Students wishing to become math teachers can take one of several pathways toward licensing through either undergraduate or graduate schooling.
Education Requirements and Career Information for Math Teachers
Math teachers are required to hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Many schools with education programs have specific programs for students wishing to become a math teacher. These are often offered as mathematics teaching degrees and consist of several levels of math courses and pedagogical study.
In many education programs, students are often required to student-teach at a local elementary or high school during their final year of study. Many schools allow students to choose their age and grade group that will be taught. Students can earn their degree for teaching math for students in grades 5-9 or those in grades 5-12.
Students interested in teaching math may earn a degree in math with a minor in education or a degree in education with a minor in math. Students who haven't yet earned their math education degree can earn a master's degree or graduate certificate in education with an emphasis on mathematics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), employment of teachers is expected to grow 13% over the 2008-2018 decade.
Math teachers who wish to teach at the university level must earn doctoral degree in math, which includes upper-level courses in algebra, trigonometry and logic, among other levels of arithmetic. While coursework is an important part of graduate-level study, students must devote a significant portion of their studies to completing a dissertation or thesis project under the advisement of a faculty member.
Teacher training courses often include child psychology, introductions to education, education psychology and using technology in the classroom, along with education seminars and at least one semester of student teaching. Math courses include algebra, geometry, probability and statistics. Students who've taken a special math education curriculum take classes in specifically teaching mathematics at the elementary or secondary levels. Skills learned in these courses include lesson planning and using modern technology toward math in the classroom.
Requirements for licensure differ based on the state, although all states require teachers to become licensed. (Teachers working in private schools may not need to obtain a license.) Most states require that aspiring educators take the Praxis Series examinations, written exams testing basic skills required by all educators like language and social skills.
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