How To Become A Math Teacher
Do you enjoy crunching the numbers? Do you like to create mathematical equations? Do you enjoy geometry, calculus, or trigonometry? Do you enjoy teaching others? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to explore a career as a math teacher!
Why Become A Math Teacher
As a math teacher, you will help students understand, identify, analyze, and solve mathematical equations and basic math. Utilizing your knowledge of the mathematical field will aid students in their future when they need to solve technological or mathematical issues. As a teacher, it will be your responsibility to clearly and easily explain the various types of mathematics to students. Becoming a math teacher will allow you to put a different, fresh, spin on a difficult subject.
If you easily communicate the subject to a student, it will boost a student’s confidence and breath new life into mathematics. Mathematics can be a difficult subject for many students; therefore, it requires a dedicated and patient instructor to teach the subject. A fantastic math teacher can make all of the difference in a student’s academic journey.
Qualities & Skills for Math Teachers
If you are looking for employment within the field of teaching, be aware that you will need to possess the following qualities and skills for a math teacher position.
- Creativity – Math teachers must be creative in their approach to teaching math to students of all ages. Each student will approach mathematical equations and scenarios in various ways; therefore, it is imperative that a math teacher adapts lessons or approaches to fit a student’s learning style. Additionally, math teachers must think of creative methods and mathematical projects to engage each student.
- Communication Skills – As a math teacher, you will be responsible for effectively and clearly communicating with other teachers, students, administrators, and parents.
- Resourcefulness – Depending on what level of education you are teaching (elementary school, middle school, high school, or post-secondary school), you will need to explain unknown or difficult mathematical concepts in terms that all students can understand.
- Patience – As a math teacher, you will work with students with various mathematical abilities. Some students may have little mathematical abilities or backgrounds; therefore, it will take a patient math teacher to assist a student. It is important to be patient throughout your teaching process and respond to students when they are struggling with the mathematical material. Each student learns at his or her own pace, therefore, you must have an abundance of patience when helping a struggling student.
Math Teacher Work Environment
Math teachers work within a classroom setting with students. Depending on the experience and age level of the students, math teachers may teach various levels of mathematics. The skills of the mathematics teacher, and their specific preference of mathematics, will vary from individual to individual.
Math Teacher Salary
The Occupational Employment and Wages Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor showed in 2012, the mean annual wage of secondary school teachers was $55,050. The Bureau of Labor Statistics makes a clear distinction for science and math post-secondary teachers or professors, as it states that the post-secondary teachers, in 2012, earned a mean annual wage of $64,990. Median annual wages for elementary to high school math teachers ranges anywhere from $31,000 to $84,000, depending on experience and education.
Math Teacher Career Outlook
The career outlook for a math teacher is dependent upon education, experience, and mathematical skill set. Math teachers who teach an elementary school or middle school level may see a career increase of 12%, from 2012 to 2022. High school math teachers may see a slow, career growth of 6%. University and college level math teachers will see a faster increase in careers, higher than other career areas, with an increase of 19%. Job opportunities for math teachers may be dependent upon math teachers who wish to retire or shortage of teaching opportunities.
Math Teacher Degree
If you wish to pursue a career in teaching math to students, you will need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Education with a concentration in Mathematics. You may choose a specific area of mathematics and need to earn your teaching certificate. If you wish to teach at a college or university, you will have to earn your Master’s degree, or PhD, to teach students. Areas of coursework may include, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, science, and statistics.
Your coursework may include advanced mathematics, teaching methods, math curriculum development, and classroom management. Instructional strategies may be included within your coursework. Throughout your coursework, you will want to student teach to begin gaining experience working with students. If you decided to pursue a graduate degree in teaching mathematics, your coursework may include advanced mathematics, techniques for teaching advanced mathematics, teaching strategies, and research projects. Math teachers who wish to teach at public schools must have an educational state licensure.