A middle school math teacher works closely with adolescents on concepts related to algebra, geometry, graphing and measurement. In addition to using best practice teaching strategies, math teachers must also assess student understanding and use this data to plan for future instruction. Effective math teachers are able to use their skills and adapt their teaching methods for varying learning styles and student interests.
Classroom Management Skills
Even though high-quality instruction is at the heart of teaching mathematical concepts, there are many other factors that play a role in effective instruction. Before any teaching and learning takes place, middle school math teachers must have a strong management plan in place to enforce rules, consequences and rewards for behavior. It is also very important for math teachers to be clear with parents and students about academic progress because of the building block nature of math.
Before stepping in front of a class of students, a lot of preparation goes into teaching math lessons. Math teachers must be able to use formative assessments to plan engaging activities and projects. This teaching cycle includes pre-assessment, planning and teaching meaningful lessons, post assessment, line item analysis and re-teaching. As a part of this process, it also is necessary that math teachers have their hands-on materials ready for help with conceptual development prior to teaching mathematical procedures. In addition, it is imperative that teachers have clear, communicated objectives for each lesson that is taught.
Highly qualified teachers typically have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. For middle school math teachers, this is often a degree in mathematics or an education degree with math concentration. In addition to a college degree, most educators have a considerable amount of work-related experience prior to becoming a certified teacher. These experiences include observations, working with small groups of students and clinical teaching with supervisors and mentors.
Teachers are models for students. Therefore, it is necessary that teachers be able to read, write and speak English properly. Because of the ever-changing nature of the profession, teachers must be open minded and willing to learn through on-the-job training related to curriculum and best practices. Due to the fact that education is about preparing students for the future, teachers also must keep up with changes in technology in the classroom by being able to adequately use equipment and programs. Being able to prioritize, organize, plan and work with others are all skills used on a daily basis by middle school math teachers.