How to Become a High School Math Teacher

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High school math teachers are always in demand, but how do you go about becoming one? If you want to become a math teacher, plan ahead. You'll need the time and money to take a teaching course and you may need to get a master's degree in education. Once you get into the teaching field, however, you'll be rewarded with a variety of jobs to choose from and a reliable salary.

  • Get your bachelor's degree in education with a specialization in math. This may take 4 or 5 years. You will have to learn teaching methodology, such as making lesson plans and the basics of high school math courses, and also get the necessary hours of student teaching under your belt.

  • Go on for a master's degree. If you already have a bachelor's degree in math, you can take a master's degree course that will teach you the education skills you need. These courses last 1 to 2 years and are available at colleges and universities.

  • Work and get certified at the same time. Because of a shortage of high school math teachers, if you already have math skills, you may be able to work towards an education degree while working in the classroom. Conditions vary state by state, so check with your state education board to see if they have this type of program.

  • Get your state teaching license or certification. You will need to get a credential plus an "endorsement" in math. You will have to pass a state test--often the Praxis I and II tests--in order to get these credentials.

  • Find a job. There are several Internet sites that feature teaching jobs (see Resources). You may also want to check with local schools--it's a good idea to apply in person, as you will be able to make a good impression on school personnel and also see if the school is a good fit for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's a good idea to volunteer as a teacher's aide or work as a substitute teacher to figure out if teaching high school math is the career for you. Specific requirements vary from state to state. Check with your state department of education to find out what you will need to do to become a high school math teacher in your state.

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