Math Teacher Degrees and Courses
Explore undergraduate and graduate degree options for becoming a math teacher, and learn what it takes to teach math at the elementary or secondary level. Review the common coursework in an education degree program, and get info on online learning options. Check out the licensure requirements for teachers.
What You Need to Know
Math teachers may teach at various educational levels, from kindergarten through high school. A bachelor's degree usually suffices for a math teaching career, but some states also require a master's degree. To teach in a public school after graduation, teachers must be licensed.
|Degrees||Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Mathematics Education Middle Grades or Secondary|
|Licensing||A state license is required for public school teachers. Licensure requires at least a bachelor's degree, along with a teacher-training program and a competency test.|
|Courses||Mathematics-focused courses and education-oriented classes, such as psychology, child development, teaching methods and conflict resolution|
How Do I Become a Math Teacher?
If you aspire to teach kindergarten or elementary school students, you'll need to earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education, where you can focus on mathematics. However, to teach in a secondary school, you should major in mathematics or mathematics education. Some options include a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics for grades 5-9 or 5-12 or a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.
What About Master's Degrees?
Some states also require completion of a master's degree program. Some colleges and universities offer a 'four plus one' program in which you continue going to school for one year after earning your bachelor's degree in order to earn your master's degree as well. Degrees you could earn include a Master of Arts in Teaching, Mathematics Education for middle grades or secondary.
What Can I Expect from a Degree Program?
If you are majoring in elementary education, you will have to take pedagogic courses in all the basic disciplines, but you will focus on mathematics. If you are majoring in mathematics education for secondary school students, you'll take more courses that focus on math and fewer that focus on other subjects. Either way, you will be required to take foundational courses in English, science, math, language and history. General courses in education are also mandatory, for example:
- Child or adolescent development
- Child or adolescent growth and development
- Conflict resolution
- Exceptional students
- Tests and measurements
- Child thinking and reasoning
- Instructional design and assessment
Can I Study Online?
Aspiring mathematics teachers can study online through a variety of colleges and universities. Online students must have reliable access to the Internet and email. Your software and operating system must be up to date and you are still required to purchase all textbooks. Courses may include live or recorded lectures as well as online discussion forums and message boards. Note that some distance learning programs require you to attend on-campus in-person seminars or complete an internship or student teaching experience. Check with the school for all requirements before enrolling.
Are There Any Additional Requirements?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), every state requires their public school teachers to have a license granted by the state's Board of Education (www.bls.gov). You can be granted a license after earning a bachelor's degree and successfully passing an approved teacher training program. Most states also require that you pass a competency test to achieve initial licensure as well as subject area credentials.