Teaching Math: The Path to the Future
Becoming a math teacher begins with a love for math. If you excelled in math as a kid and decided to study math in college, then teaching middle and high school students could be your career path. Every state has different educational and licensing requirements, and it’s up to you to fulfill those requirements to qualify as a teacher. Once you have met the criteria to teach math in your state, the work isn’t over. There’s more you must do to prepare, and you can get started with these tips from Matheaze Tutors.
Relearn the Material
It’s probably been years since you’ve had a math class at the level you’re teaching. You might have been a math prodigy in your day, but you might be rusty today. A refresher course can help you get back into the groove of solving math problems and formulas that might have slipped your memory. Start with a refresher to get the basics down again, and then move on to a textbook that you would use to teach your students.
Learn New Material and Teaching Methods
Math is not a fixed subject. The basic concepts don’t change, but teaching methods do. The way you learned math as a young student may not be the same as what schools are teaching children now. Common Core State Standards have shaped the way math is taught in schools, with a focus on skills for solving real-world problems. In addition, math is no longer just about arithmetic. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects are taking over the world, and students are now learning math and science in ways that set them up for jobs in STEM fields.
As a lifetime learner yourself, consider going back to school and earning an online master’s degree in education, which allows you to pick up on the latest teaching methods as well as accreditations you may not have yet. A master’s degree can open new doors in your teaching career, including higher compensation and a bump in prestige, and it can be done on your current teacher’s salary. Online courses are much more affordable than attending a traditional brick-and-mortar college.
Of course, depending on where you plan to study, you may be required to take the GRE, which is commonly required for admission into a graduate program. To increase your chances of passing the GRE, it’s crucial to study, and it pays off to work with a GRE study group.
Tap Into Teaching Resources
Shaping young minds to carry our world into the future is a daunting task, but you don’t have to shoulder the burden on your own. Despite seeming like all-knowing heroes, teachers receive help too. When you start your own career, don’t be shy about using online resources to help you build curriculum and learn a few tricks yourself.
Prepare Your Syllabus and Lessons
It’s no secret that teaching isn’t a typical nine-to-five job. It’s a job that comes home with you at night when you grade papers, a job that you spend weekends and holidays preparing as you build curricula. Before the school year starts, have a syllabus mapped out and lessons planned out in advance. And don’t forget that every teacher needs a teaching binder with all the notes, handouts, lesson plans, grades, calendars and tests that you’ll be administering throughout the year.
Dress Up Your Classroom
One of the most fun parts of a classroom is the décor. As a math teacher, your classroom decorations should be both fun and functional. Math signage can include multiplication tables, measurement conversions, the order of operations, fractions and decimals, numbers, STEM, and more. These posters serve as reminders and helpful hints for kids who have trouble picking up math.
Making a decision to become a teacher is a profound act of service. The education you provide today will promise a better tomorrow, and what you learn as a teacher will have a greater impact on molding young minds. With technology and engineering in position to become the focus of how our world operates, math is the foundation for the future — and math teachers are the gatekeepers.