College and State Certification Requirements for Teaching Math

College and State Certification Requirements for Teaching Math

What is required to become a math teacher? States differ on qualifications, but one requirement is consistent. Applicants seeking employment in a public or charter school must pass college-level courses and apply for a state teaching license or certification. For applicants seeking math teaching positions in parochial or private schools the requirements may differ slightly, but teacher certification is generally a must.

Considering a career as a math teacher? Here are steps to take to prepare for math teacher certification. First, it is essential that you enjoy math, have a demonstrated level of proficiency in high school math courses and that you possess good communication skills. Many candidates for teacher certification are able to pass the tests, but lack good communication skills. To help them out several firms have started providing best dissertation writing services to ease the work pressure. Good communication skills, in teaching, do not mean just reading, writing and speaking. Teaching requires the ability to explain concepts coherently. Teaching requires good listening skills and responsiveness to students’ questions. Nowhere is this more important than in teaching math. Many students suffer math anxiety because of poor math instruction. The hallmark of a good math teacher is that she can make difficult concepts clear to students.

As a prospective math teacher, take every level of math available in your high school. Participate in higher math competitions. Get involved in summer and after school math and science programs. Connect with math teachers in your school. Tutor others in math. Tutoring hones not only math skills but teaching skills as well.

Explore college opportunities. Look for universities with quality math teaching programs, high job placement rate and good reputation in the education and math community. Network with other college students seeking math degrees, but more importantly with other teachers. The NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Math) is a respected, accredited organization and a good place to begin networking. The best math education websites include government websites that end in .gov, math organizations (.org) and especially education websites (.edu).

Apply for several different universities. Don’t overlook the valuable education available at a junior or community college. Make sure that the classes you are taking will transfer to the four year college you have chosen. Meet with a college counselor to plan your college classes. She can give you course selection guides that tell you which classes to take based upon the college to which you will transfer. Visit your prospective college website for specific requirements for teaching math, as each school organizes their degrees differently.

As part of your college preparation, you will be required to complete field study or student teaching. Your practicum may include two to four levels of students teaching. Typically schools require a pre-teaching (also called paraprofessional or teacher assisting) practicum followed by student teaching in your field area. If you are seeking special education certification, you may have a general education and special education practicum. Sometime before graduation, you will be required to take the NTE (National Teaching Exam), also called the PRAXIS. Visit ETS for more information.

Upon graduation, you must contact your state department of education to apply for your math teaching certificate. Teacher certification costs about $200-$300 initially and $150 for re-certification. Most states require teachers to complete a certain number CEU (Continuing Education Units) every five years. Since NCLB (No Child Left Behind Act) school districts require teachers to possess ‘highly qualified’ status. To be considered ‘highly qualified’ a teacher must have taught in a subject for a certain length of time, have earned a Master’s Degree in education or have taken certain state level proficiency tests beyond the Praxis. For more information on Highly Qualified Status, the PRAXIS, NCLB, federal and state teaching license issues visit Ed.gov here.