Teachers of mathematics are conceptual thinkers who have strong memorization skills and logical minds. They are able to spot patterns and identify similarities and differences between groups that may not be obvious to others. They are dedicated to providing students with accurate, objective analysis and dedication to learning.
You are a math teacher if you have the ability to solve problems using numbers and can communicate your knowledge well.
A quick look at math teachers
Job description for math teacher
Teachers of mathematics must have solid knowledge in multiplication, division and fractions, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis and probability. Teachers are expected to use their existing knowledge to help students solve problems and inspire them to connect abstract concepts with real-world applications.
- Manage and organize classrooms
- Collaborate with administrators and colleagues to coordinate instructional best practice and teaching goals
- Math-related presentations include lectures, demonstrations, planning lessons, and multimedia demonstrations.
- Assign homework and classroom lessons
- Assessments for students graded
- Keep up-to-date with the latest state and local math standards.
- Assist students in assessing their progress and achieving overall educational success.
- Prepare students for grade progression through subject-specific assessments
- Organise open-classroom sessions and host parent-teacher conferences
- Participate in professional development seminars, presentations, or conferences
Math teachers have many media options and often are given the responsibility for implementing these resources in the curriculum. These include real-time audio, videoconferencing and graphing calculators.
Who is a good math teacher and why?
These are the great math teachers:
- Instinctively drawn to abstract ideas and concepts, I am naturally inclined to analyze data sets, to compare statistics, to use mathematical equations to provide unambiguous answers.
- Students will find it easy to ask questions and get answers when you are organized but flexible.
- A personable, capable instructor who can motivate students to analyse data and place numbers in context.
- Students of all levels are patient and will listen to their problems.
- Real-world problems are presented to you and you’re intrigued by mathematical solutions. These scenarios can range from balancing budgets, surveying land, or analyzing weather patterns.
- Use mathematical symbols and numerical expressions to communicate rational ideas
- Intelligently curious and committed to gathering facts to support accuracy
In-depth discussion with math teachers
Different levels of math teachers
No matter what grade level, there are many constants in the profession of mathematics teaching. Some duties, skills, and expertise will depend on the education level of your institution.
There are many factors that go into deciding the education level you will teach. These factors include:
- Teachers’ education (postsecondary institutions usually require an advanced degree).
- The breadth and range of mathematics subjects and abilities is important. The higher the grade, the more advanced and proficient the teacher must be in math.
- Students’ maturity and age — middle school through college
- Considerations for local salaries and job opportunities
Teachers of elementary math
Teachers who are dedicated to teaching math in secondary or postsecondary schools find their career paths. Different licensing and curriculum requirements mean that elementary grades need to have a wider educational focus. However, it is possible to have exceptional educational opportunities by focusing on mathematics in grade school.
The demand for STEM- and STEAM based teachers at the grade school level has increased with today’s call for STEM and STEAM-based curriculum. In Foundations of Success: Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, the U.S. Department of Education recommends that children be taught more math in elementary schools. The department recommends that primary schools be equipped with math specialists, as it believes improving K-12 mathematics is in the nation’s best interests. These specialists could be full-time math teachers or would act as math coaches for K-12 teachers.
Math teachers for middle school
Teachers in middle school math serve as bridges between high school and elementary school. Because many students are permanently behind in math, they have one of the most important jobs. Teachers in middle school mathematics must identify students who are below grade level and work hard to prepare them for high school math.
This level of teachers is responsible for teaching courses in algebra, geometry and data analysis, probability, ratios, proportions, expressions and equations.
Math teachers for high school
Teachers of mathematics in high school are more responsible for advanced courses than their middle-school counterparts. High school math teachers have the opportunity to increase their students’ knowledge because they teach at different grade levels. Teachers who are experts in trigonometry and calculus may teach these subjects to seniors and juniors, while teachers who specialize or intermediate algebra or geometry might handle the freshman and sophomore math classes.
Secondary math teachers are responsible to prepare students for science, technology and engineering careers, as well other jobs that require a strong foundation in mathematics. High school teachers are often responsible for developing curriculum and assessing students. It is crucial to place students in the right places and allow them to progress.
Math teachers for postsecondary education
Teachers of postsecondary mathematics are expected to have advanced knowledge in the subjects they teach. College math teachers have more freedom in what subjects they can cover than their high school and middle school counterparts. For example, a postsecondary math teacher might teach advanced statistical analysis in a course on calculating life- and health insurance actuarial tables. Or, a college mathematics instructor might spend a semester teaching business graduate students inventory tracking using quantitative analysis, modern equation-modeling, and other techniques.
Teachers in postsecondary education also have greater control over how they teach than teachers in K-12. Many postsecondary teachers also have more control over their teaching schedules. Although they have less classroom management and procedural responsibilities, they are expected to spend significant time preparing lectures and instructions for assignments. They also need to provide individual guidance and guidance when needed.
Teachers of postsecondary mathematics can be found at many professional schools, junior colleges and state and private colleges. They teach math to both traditional students and adults of all ages.
Postsecondary teachers now have more options thanks to today’s computer technology and the availability of affordable telecommunications. Online instructors can also work as adjunct teachers. Learn more about adjunct professors in our adjunct professor Article.
Postsecondary teachers are given specific duties:
- Do research in order to improve knowledge in your field
- Published original research and analysis in books or academic journals
- Supervise doctoral students in graduate studies
Qualifications and certification requirements for math teachers
- Education: Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees
- The typical study time is between 4-10 years
A bachelor’s degree in math, science or statistics is required for middle and high school math teachers. A majority of states require that a master’s degree be completed within five years after obtaining certification to continue employment.
Teachers of postsecondary mathematics may be able to find work at community colleges or trade schools if they have a master’s and relevant experience. For employment, most four-year universities and colleges require a doctoral degree.
There are many backgrounds for teachers. To learn classroom management and curriculum design, most future teachers enroll in a college teacher education program. They also have the opportunity to teach students during a semester. They usually receive a bachelor’s degree and can start teaching right away.
Others teachers go into education after they have completed a more specific program and worked in related fields for years.
Education hopefuls with a bachelor’s degree can enroll in education-based doctoral and master’s degree programs to find a job as a teacher.
License and certification
Teaching is usually possible only with a state-issued teaching certificate. Each state has its own licensing and certification requirements. As a condition for certification, teachers are often required to teach for years and complete professional development courses.
Teaching licence reciprocity by state – Visit our state-by state teacher licensing and reciprocity pages for details in your state.
Note on tenure: Tenure is a major goal for traditional academic careers. Tenure is often viewed as a guarantee of a permanent position. Despite widespread belief, this is not true. Tenure requires that teachers who hold tenure be subject to due process before they are dismissed.
Teachers are eligible to be placed on probationary status. They can be fired without just cause or proper documentation. Tenure can take up to four years. Teachers are often evaluated by mentors and administrators on their job performance. Administrators can make informed and supportive decisions about the teaching faculty in their schools during this time.
For math teachers, the following are salary ranges and projections of employment
The salary ranges of math teachers vary depending on where they live, what experience they have, and what degree they hold. The median annual salary of a math teacher in the United States is $60,320, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10% earn less that $39,740, while the highest 10% earn over $97,500.
ZipRecruiter.com reports that the average salary for math teachers varies by state, from $35,439 up to $50,012.
Here’s a snapshot of the average salary for math teachers:
- Payscale.com: $49,450
- Glassdoor.com: $48,465
- Indeed.com: $46,343
- ZipRecruiter.com: $45,696
According to the BLS, teacher employment is expected to increase by 4% between 2018 and 2028. Public school teachers’ employment growth may be affected by the state and local budgets. To replace teachers who leave or retire, many teachers will be required.
Many schools have difficulty filling math teaching positions. Math teachers enjoy better job prospects.
There are advantages and disadvantages
- Share your passion
- Encourage others
- Increase student understanding of basic math concepts
- Young minds are a great place to work
- Make a difference
- Every day is unique
- Autonomy at a high level
- Work with other professionals
- There are many opportunities to learn and expand your knowledge base.
- Extended vacations
- Security of employment
- Pay is generally lower than in other career options
- The school year is long and exhausting.
- Standards for state and local government
- Very little adult contact during the day
- Standardized testing
- School funding
For math teachers, professional development
Continuing education can be a great way for a person to stay on track in their career, increase knowledge, remain competitive and increase their real value in the job marketplace.
There are many continuing education opportunities for teachers of mathematics. These include webinars, correspondence courses and symposiums.