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College Classes to Become a Math Teacher

by Russell Gray

Mathematics teachers generally must graduate from an accredited college or university with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in some area of mathematics. Math teachers are also required to complete a rigorous study of information concerning how to teach, foundations of education and methods of student evaluation. Prospective math teachers should evaluate the classes they'll need to complete in college.

Mathematics Courses

Requirements for teaching specific subjects vary from state to state. However, a similar spectrum of 30 to 45 credit hours of courses are required in most states. Specific mathematics courses required in almost all states include linear algebra, higher mathematics, calculus I, calculus II, calculus III, analysis and advanced algebra. Some states also require the student to complete courses in advanced geometry, statistics and probability, physics, differential equations and mathematics logic and reasoning.

Foundational Teaching Courses

States require teachers to complete at least 20 credit hours of foundational education courses. Among the required components, a teacher will complete the courses on these topics: introduction to education, educational psychology, multicultural education, educational technology and education for exceptional children. Without knowledge in each of the areas, it is difficult to focus the teaching so that students will learn. Teacher candidates conduct observations and write reports about encounters during the majority of these courses.

Methods of Teaching Courses

Mathematics teachers are required to complete additional courses for the methods of teaching mathematics for elementary, middle or high schools. The methods courses are specific to techniques of teaching for effective learning. The specific grade-level teaching courses provide information to help the math teacher gain academic success from students at a specific grade level.

Student Teaching

Prospective teachers will complete a student teaching requirement. They will complete an on-the-job training experience lasting between 10 weeks and 14 weeks depending on the state, subject and grade level. A short period of intensive formal observations and written reflections starts the course. Eventually, the student assumes control of the class and teaches for the required time period. All teaching and assessing are done by the student teacher during this time period.

About the Author

Russell Gray is a professor of education with various universities. He specializes in training for the best practices of teaching, educational technology and multicultural education. Gray holds a Ph.D. and has been teaching for more than 30 years.

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