What Is a Secondary School Math Teacher?
Research what it takes to become a secondary school math teacher. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you.
What Is a Secondary School Math Teacher?
Secondary school math teachers may teach general or advanced math topics at the high school level. These teachers plan lessons, grade assignments and record student progress. They maintain communication with parents to share how their child is progressing. Secondary math teachers also create and enforce classroom rules so that an effective learning environment is created. They prepare students for state math assessments and college as well.
The following table presents an overview of this profession, including job outlook data, essential duties and potential earnings.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Education Field of Study||Secondary education, math|
|Key Responsibilities||Write lesson plans, teach established curriculum, work with parents and students|
|Licensure/Certification||Required for all public school teachers|
|Job Growth (2018-28)||4% (for high school teachers)*|
|Average Salary (2018)||$64,340 (for high school teachers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Duties of a Secondary School Math Teacher
A secondary school math teacher is a high school teacher who typically teaches students in grades 9-12. You could teach general math or more advanced subjects such as calculus, trigonometry, algebra or geometry. Working at a public or private school, you could write lesson plans or teach a curriculum that's been developed by a state board of education.
You could work with students individually, grade assignments, discipline students, confer with parents and give lectures and presentations. You might also oversee after-school programs and mentor students as they transition from high school to college.
Degree Program Options for Aspiring Teachers
Secondary school math teachers are required to be certified, a process that begins with the completion of a bachelor's degree program. Options are a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mathematics Education or B.S. in Secondary Education - Mathematics. Both programs include coursework in curriculum and instruction and culminate in student teaching internships. Another option would be to complete a B.S. in Mathematics and then enroll in a post-bachelor's teacher certification program with an endorsement in secondary school mathematics.
If the state where you intend to work requires high school teachers to hold master's degrees, you could enroll in a Master of Science (M.S.) in Mathematics or Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Mathematics Education. Regardless of the degree path you choose, you will need to complete a student teaching internship at a participating school and receive a recommendation from a faculty member to be a candidate for state certification.
State Certification Requirements
The first step to certification is to check with your state board of education for specific requirements, which can vary widely from state to state. Most states, however, require that you take teacher assessment exams and provide proof of your student teaching experience. Some states could require you to take additional exams or complete college courses that may not have been included in your degree program. Finally, you'll have to pay fees, provide copies of college transcripts and pass criminal and child abuse background checks.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Similar career options include teaching elementary school, middle school, and career and technical education. Elementary school teachers have many of the same duties that high school teachers have including lesson planning, teaching and assessing. These teachers oftentimes teach all content areas and prepare students with foundational skills. Middle school teachers typically teach one content area such as math, science, reading, or geography for students in grades six through eight. Career and technical education teachers prepare students with skills needed to enter the workforce after high school.