# Math Teacher Career: Job, Education and Salary Information

Teaching mathematics is a logical choice for people who are fascinated with using numbers and symbols, functions and equations to solve real-world problems. People who are “fluent in math” and who have a passion for imparting knowledge and helping others appreciate the value of solving problems with numbers are well suited for careers as mathematics teachers.

Analytical thinking, critiquing and reasoning skills are important for mathematics teachers, who devote much of their time to creating lessons that help students understand the practical uses of math in their everyday lives. In addition to teaching concepts and procedures, mathematics instructors must assess student proficiency on a regular basis. It’s important for mathematics teachers to measure daily progress because it’s extremely challenging to catch up on math skills once a student falls behind.

Our guide offers insights into the required education, salary and job outlook of the mathematics teaching profession. Browse through the content or use the following links to jump to your desired destination:

**At-a-glance**

> Who makes good math teachers?

**Teaching at the various levels**

> Elementary school math teachers

> Middle school math teachers

> High school math teachers

> Postsecondary/college math teachers

**Professional development**

> Continuing education

> Professional associations

**Related careers**

> Jobs beyond teaching

**Best of the Web**

> Sites and Twitter handles to follow

## At-a-glance: math teachers

K-8 | High school | College/postsecondary | |
---|---|---|---|

Education | Bachelor’s; master’s preferred | Bachelor’s; master’s preferred | Master’s; doctorate |

Typical study time | 4-6 years | 4-6 years | 5-10 years |

Median salary | $55,860 | $57,200 | $67,170 |

Job outlook | +6% | +6% | +16% |

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics*

With increased demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses at all education levels, the 21st century is ideally suited for a promising career as a mathematics teacher.

A bachelor’s degree — preferably in mathematics, math science, statistics or related discipline — is a minimum education requirement for math teachers at the middle and high school levels. A state-issued teaching certificate or license is also required; however, some private schools do not specify a teaching credential as a job prerequisite. Some states require a master’s degree for middle and high school teachers; and most postsecondary schools require at least a master’s degree to teach math.

### Math teacher job description

Mathematics teachers must have a solid foundation in multiplication, division, fractions, algebra, geometry and measurement, data analysis and probability. They are expected to implement lessons that build on their students’ existing knowledge of problem solving while inspiring them to make practical connections between abstract concepts and real-world applications.

Contemporary mathematics teachers serve vital roles by ensuring that students become proficient in several math concepts. These include:

- Whole numbers
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and division
- Fractions and decimals
- Integers
- Percent
- Geometry and measurement
- Algebra
- Statistics, data analysis and probability

### Who makes good math teachers?

Mathematics teachers are conceptual thinkers with logical minds and strong memorization abilities. They have a knack for spotting patterns, for identifying matches and disparities among groupings that aren’t obvious to others. As professionals, they must be devoted to accuracy and objective analyses, and dedicated to helping students learn.

To succeed at math, students need to understand the rules and procedures. It’s the teacher’s job to help make sure they do.

Great math teachers are:

- Fascinated by abstract ideas and concepts, naturally inclined to analyze data sets, compare statistics and use mathematical equations as reasoning tools to find unambiguous answers
- Well-organized yet flexible about allowing students to ask questions and figure out answers
- Personable and capable of motivating students to analyze data by placing numbers in context and encouraging them to inquire about procedures for how to solve problems
- Patient and willing to explain problem-solving steps to students at all knowledge levels
- Challenged by real-world problems and intrigued with scenarios that can be applied to mathematical solutions — everything from balancing budgets and surveying land to analyzing weather patterns
- Capable of using numerical expressions and mathematical symbols to communicate rational concepts
- Intellectually curious, committed to gathering facts and data to support accuracy

#### Interested in becoming a math teacher?

Are you interested in imparting knowledge about numbers and sharing your passion for math? Do you enjoy collaborating with peers to strategize plans based on collective daily experiences? Here’s a spotlight on mathematics teachers. Perhaps you can identify with one of these teachers’ engaging descriptions of the profession and their enthusiasm for teaching math?

## Teaching math at the various levels

A number of factors come into play in deciding which education level to teach. These include:

- Teacher’s educational level (postsecondary institutions typically require an advanced degree)
- Range and breadth of mathematics subjects and abilities; the higher the grade level, the more advanced the curriculum and math conversant the teacher must be
- Age and maturity levels of students — from middle school to college
- Local salary considerations and employment opportunities

### Elementary school math teachers

Today’s clarion call for STEM-based curriculum has accelerated demand for teachers proficient in math and science subjects. The focus on STEM learning has prompted a major push within some public policy circles and among certain educational leaders to increase math learning at the primary levels.

Although this article focuses on middle, high school and postsecondary math teachers, the U.S. Department of Education, in Foundations for Success: The Final Report for National Mathematics Advisory Panel, recommends significantly increasing math curriculum for children in public elementary schools. Noting that improving K-12 math is in the national interest, one of the department’s key recommendations is to add “math specialist teachers” to primary schools. These specialists would serve either as full-time mathematics teachers or as math coaches for K-12 teachers.

In addition to strengthening student learning of math concepts in elementary schools, the report recommends giving primary teachers more opportunities to learn mathematics instruction. The underlying goal is to better prepare students for middle school math.

### Middle school math teachers

Middle school mathematics teachers are responsible for teaching introductory courses in algebra, geometry, data analysis and probability, ratios and proportions, expressions and equations.

Read on for in-depth details about middle school math teachers

- What do middle school math teachers do?
- Educational and certification requirements
- Salary and employment projections
- Pros and cons of being a middle school math teacher

Middle school teachers should be prepared to deal with students who aren’t used to having multiple subject-specific classes throughout the school day. This is especially true for mathematics, in which students have a range of knowledge and different levels of familiarity with math content and problem-solving methods.

#### Middle school math teacher job description

Middle school math teachers function as figurative bridges for students transitioning between elementary and high school. They have one of the most important jobs in society, because intermediate school is where some students fall permanently behind in math. It is crucial, therefore, for middle school mathematics teachers to identify students who are not at grade level and work diligently to prepare them for success in high school math.

In addition to subject expertise, middle school mathematics teachers need to be familiar with basic teaching responsibilities.

Typical duties:

- Organize and manage classrooms and work with school administrators to implement procedures
- Plan lessons, lectures, multimedia demonstrations and other presentations appropriate to math
- Assign classroom lessons and homework; grade assignments and quizzes
- Administer and grade tests, and stay current with math standards and test requirements
- Work with students individually when necessary to assess progress, improve learning performance levels and achieve overall education success
- Prepare students for grade advancement through subject-specific assessments
- Conduct open classroom sessions and schedule parent-teacher conferences

#### Middle school math curriculum

Here is a snapshot of math concepts for grades 6-8:

**Ratios and Proportional Relationships**covers introduction to ratios and beginning comparative data analysis, proportional relationships, multistep ratio and percent problems.**The Number System**covers division of fractions to solve problems as well as addition, subtraction and division of multi-digit decimal numbers, existing knowledge of rational numbers and fractions, multiplication and division, understanding the difference between rational and irrational numbers and how to use decimal expansion to represent rational numbers.**Expressions and Equations**covers written expressions involving whole numbers and using letters to represent numbers, linear expressions, positive and negative rational numbers, representing proportions through slopes on line graphs with x/y coordinates, beginning understanding of square root and cube root symbols, graphing proportional relationships and solving linear equations with rational number coefficients.**Geometry**covers calculating area, surface and volume of geometric shapes, drawing and constructing geometric figures and describing their relationships, Pythagorean Theorem formula, polygons, cones, cylinders and spheres, introduction to congruence and similarity.**Statistics and Probability**covers an introduction to statistical variability and distribution patterns, random and nonrandom sampling of populations, estimation and validation of conjectures and predictions, introduction to organized lists, tables, 3D diagrams and simulations to illustrate data, show conclusions and summarize results with scatter plots.**Functions**covers defining, evaluating and comparing functions and using models to identify relationships between quantities based on real-world examples.

#### How to become a middle school math teacher: educational requirements

Mathematics teachers at all levels are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in math or a similar discipline such as quantitative analysis or statistics. Math teachers often specialize in subjects such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics and probability, or calculus.

Level of educational attainment for K-8 teachers:

**Less than high school diploma**: 0.2%**High school diploma or equivalent**: 0.3%**Some college, no degree**: 2.9%**Associate degree**: 1.9%**Bachelor’s degree**: 44.3%**Master’s degree**: 46.5%**Doctoral or professional degree**: 3.9%

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (Note: Data listed is for middle school teachers overall, and not math specific)*

#### Certification requirements for middle school math teachers

A state-issued teaching certificate or license is generally required to become a middle school teacher. However, some private schools do not indicate a teaching credential as a job prerequisite. Specific certification and licensing requirements for middle school teachers vary from state to state. Teachers are usually required to take professional development courses as a condition of certification.

**Teaching License Reciprocity by State**: Visit our state-by-state teacher licensing and reciprocity page for regulations in your state.

Alternative certification is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 20 percent of teachers entering the profession through nontraditional means. Because of fluctuating teacher shortages, states are offering alternative ways for people who already have bachelor’s degrees to get certified.

People with engineering, science, financial services and other STEM-related degrees who are looking for stable, meaningful careers should consider teaching. These professionals, perhaps enticed by a standard workweek and two-month summer vacations, need to become certified before entering the education field. After graduating from teaching certification programs, these new mathematics professionals are welcomed and mentored by an experienced teacher until they earn full certification.

#### Middle school math teacher salary and employment projections

The salary for all middle school teachers across the United States ranges from about $42,000 to $54,900, based on estimates from 2010 to 2013:

- Recruiter.com: $54,890
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: $53,430
- Simply Hired: $45,000
- Payscale.com: $42,216

#### Middle school math teacher employment projections

The employment outlook for middle school teachers appears stable in certain regions, and the overall demand for teachers is stronger than many other professions. In some expanding U.S. regions, such as the Southeast, Southwest and West, job growth for middle school teachers is relatively strong. Overall, the BLS estimates a 12 percent growth rate for middle school teachers through 2022.

#### Pros and cons of being a middle school math teacher

**Pros**:

- Working with young people who are developing analytical and critical thinking skills and beginning to contemplate their future career choices
- Expanding students’ knowledge of math fundamentals while helping them transition from elementary school courses in number and quantity, pre-algebra and geometry to a more comprehensive understanding of these subjects
- Teaching intermediate-level math courses that are integral to STEM careers
- Most middle school teachers have up to two months off during the summer

**Cons**:

- Intermediate-level math teachers are challenged with identifying — and assisting — students who are not at grade level in mathematics
- Middle school math teachers must be prepared to work with parents who take a strong — and vocal — interest in their child’s progress
- Working with students who are transitioning from elementary to middle school requires extraordinary patience and empathy for teenagers
- A wide range of students with diverse backgrounds and at various learning levels necessitates teachers with excellent organizational skills and strong classroom management abilities

### High school math teachers

High school mathematics teachers are responsible for more advanced courses than their middle school counterparts. Because they generally teach students at different grade levels, high school math teachers enjoy opportunities to expand their students’ knowledge. For example, teachers who specialize in trigonometry or calculus might teach these subjects to high school juniors and seniors, whereas teachers who specialize in intermediate algebra or geometry will probably handle freshman and sophomore math classes.

Read on for in-depth details about high school math teachers

- What do high school math teachers do?
- Educational and certification requirements
- Salary and employment projections
- Pros and cons of being a high school math teacher

High school mathematics teachers may also communicate with their middle school counterparts to review progress for incoming students by assessing their strengths and weaknesses and determining appropriate math class placement.

One of the most important themes for high school math teachers to consider is perseverance. In addition to a student’s ability to solve math problems and properly show his or her work, future employers perceive the determination, or “stick-to-itiveness,” required of math problem solving to be a favorable trait.

#### High school math teacher job description

Incoming high school students should have a solid grounding in introductory algebra and geometry. They are expected to be prepared for classes like advanced algebra, trigonometry and precalculus. This means high school mathematics teachers must stay current on statewide testing and high school graduation requirements to ensure students are on track, receiving the appropriate coursework and assessment preparation required for their grade proficiency levels.

High school mathematics teachers serve on the front lines of the nation’s STEM initiative. They are responsible for preparing students for careers in science, technology and engineering, and other jobs that require a solid grounding in math — from certified public accountants and insurance actuaries to financial advisors.

As the Department of Education states in its mathematics advisory panel report, “Students who complete Algebra II are more than twice as likely to graduate from college compared to students with less mathematical preparation.”

In addition to mastering math subjects, high school teachers should be adept at performing basic teacher responsibilities and classroom management functions.

Typical duties:

- Organize and manage classrooms and work with school administrators to implement procedures
- Plan lessons, lectures, multimedia demonstrations and other presentations appropriate to math
- Assign classroom lessons and homework; grade assignments and quizzes
- Administer and grade tests, and stay current with math standards and test requirements
- Work with students individually when necessary to assess progress, improve learning performance levels and achieve overall education success
- Prepare students for grade advancement through subject-specific assessments
- Conduct open classroom sessions and schedule parent-teacher conferences

#### High school math curriculum

High school mathematics teachers are expected to teach standardized subject matter and prepare students for college-level STEM courses. They are expected to be experts in the subjects they teach and should be capable of engaging students to become enthusiastic about math by using equations, formulas and procedures to solve real-world problems.

Here is a snapshot of math requirements for grades 9-12:

**Number and Quantity**covers the use of imaginary numbers, integers, rational, real and complex numbers to make calculations, solve equations and represent measurements, quantitative reasoning and use of complex numbers in polynomial identities and equations, modeling with vector quantities and use of matrices in applications.**Algebra**covers expressions and computation with numbers and symbols representing numbers, written expressions, arithmetic operations on polynomials and rewriting rational functions, creating equations to describe numbers or relationships, representing equations and inequalities graphically, abstract and quantitative reasoning.**Functions**covers dependent relationships between quantities in nature and society that can be defined by algebraic expression, laws of linear functions and graphing to show constant rate, exponential functions and percent growth rate, introduction to function notation and trigonometric functions.**Modeling**covers relationships between quantities and the use of mathematical models to analyze and solve situational and real-world problems, identifying variables and essential features, analyzing and performing variable operations, drawing and validating conclusions through reporting, using graphing utilities, spreadsheets, computer algebra systems and geometry software to model theories.**Geometry**covers Euclidean plane and parallel postulate, congruence and rigid motion, geometric constructions and proof theorems involving congruence and similarity, defining trigonometric ratios, solving problems with right triangles and applying trigonometry to general angles, learning and applying principles of circles, expressing geometric properties with equations and using coordinates to prove simple geometric theorems algebraically.**Statistics and Probability**covers predictions based on gathering, examining and interpreting contextual data to discover patterns and deviations, applying addition and multiplication rules to develop probability models, using computers and software to generate plots, regression functions and correlation coefficients to simulate multiple event outcomes, making inferences and justifying conclusions from sample surveys, experiments and observational studies, using conditional probability rules to compute likely outcomes.

#### How to become a high school math teacher: educational requirements

Mathematics teachers at all levels are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in math or a similar discipline such as quantitative analysis or statistics. High school math teachers often specialize in subjects such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics and probability, or calculus.

Level of educational attainment for high school teachers:

**Less than high school diploma**: 0.2%**High school diploma or equivalen**t: 0.2%**Some college, no degree**: 2.3%**Associate degree**: 1.5%**Bachelor’s degree**: 43.4%**Master’s degree**: 48.3%**Doctoral or professional degree**: 4.0%

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (Note: Data listed is for high school teachers overall, and not math specific)*

#### Certification requirements for high school math teachers

A state-issued teaching certificate or license is generally required to teach high school math. However, some private schools do not specify a teaching credential as a job prerequisite. Specific certification and licensing requirements for high school teachers vary from state to state. Teachers are usually required to take professional development courses as a condition of certification.

**Teaching License Reciprocity by State**: Visit our state-by-state teacher licensing and reciprocity page for regulations in your state.

Alternative certification is becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 20 percent of teachers entering the profession through nontraditional means. Because of fluctuating teacher shortages, states are offering alternative ways for people who already have bachelor’s degrees to get certified.

People with engineering, science, financial services and other STEM-related degrees who are looking for stable, meaningful careers should consider teaching. These professionals, perhaps enticed by a standard workweek and two-month summer vacations, need to become certified before entering the education field. After graduating from teaching certification programs, these new mathematics professionals are welcomed and mentored by an experienced teacher until they earn full certification.

#### High school math teacher salary and employment projections

The median salary for all high school teachers across the United States ranges from $42,000 to nearly $56,000, annually, based on estimates from 2010 to 2013.

- Salary.com: $55,981
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: $55,050
- Payscale.com: $44,778
- Indeed.com: $42,000

#### High school math teacher employment projections

Employment for high school teachers appears stable, and the demand for teachers, in general, is stronger than for many other professions. In some expanding U.S. regions, such as the Southeast, Southwest and West, job growth for high school teachers is relatively robust. Nationally, the BLS estimates a 6 percent growth rate for high school teachers through 2022.

#### Pros and cons of being a high school math teacher

**Pros**:

- Working with young people who are developing analytical and critical thinking skills and preparing for college
- Expanding students’ knowledge of math while helping them transition from intermediate algebra and geometry to advanced courses in trigonometry and precalculus
- Teaching advanced math courses that are integral to STEM careers
- Most high school teachers have up to two months off during the summer

**Cons**:

- High school mathematics teachers are challenged with identifying students whose abilities are not at grade level while working with associates, counselors and parents to steer students toward appropriate classes
- High school mathematics teachers can become specialized and must be prepared to teach a narrow range of courses that fit their expertise in specific domains, like intermediate algebra or advanced geometry
- Working with students who are learning advanced mathematical concepts requires extraordinary patience and determination to help students achieve
- A wide range of students with diverse backgrounds and at various learning levels necessitates teachers with excellent organizational skills and strong classroom management abilities

### Postsecondary/college math teachers

Compared to their K-12 counterparts, college math teachers are given broader latitude in the curriculum they are able to cover. A postsecondary mathematics teacher, for example, may teach advanced statistical analysis for a course on calculating life and health insurance actuarial tables; or a college math instructor might spend an entire semester teaching business graduate students about inventory tracking using quantitative analysis and modern equation-modeling techniques.

Read on for in-depth details about postsecondary/college math teachers

- What do postsecondary-level math teachers do?
- Educational requirements
- Salary and employment projections
- Pros and cons of being a postsecondary mathematics teacher

Postsecondary math teachers have more options available to them and are therefore expected to possess advanced expertise in the courses they teach.

#### Postsecondary math teacher job description

Postsecondary mathematics teachers cover the range of professional schools, junior colleges, state and private colleges, and universities. However, their audience comprises adults of all ages who are interested in math.

Postsecondary teachers have more flexibility over the format of their instructional methods than their K-12 counterparts. They also have greater control over their schedules, with many postsecondary instructors teaching part time, as well as full time. They have fewer classroom management and procedural responsibilities than grade-school teachers but are expected to devote significant time to preparing lectures and instructions for assignments, in addition to grading and providing individual guidance to students when necessary.

Typical duties:

- Preparing coursework and assignments for students
- Preparing and giving lectures, leading engaging discussion sessions, giving curriculum-appropriate multimedia presentations
- Grading term papers, tests and other assignments
- Advising students on class progress, goals and academic achievement
- Working with associates and department leaders to coordinate instructional best practices and teaching goals
- Working with colleagues to meet curriculum goals, make adjustments and modifications when necessary, and ensure interdepartmental consistency across subjects
- Serving on academic and administrative committees and working with school leaders, department associates and administrative staff on policy decisions
- Working within budgets and helping to promote their department and school
- Attending professional advancement seminars, symposiums and other events to expand their knowledge of the subject matter and contemporary teaching methods

And, specific to university professors:

- Conduct research to advance knowledge in their field
- Publish original research and analysis in books and academic journals
- Supervise graduate students who are working toward doctoral degrees

#### What about teaching mathematics online?

With today’s computer technology advancements, the advent of relatively affordable telecommunications bandwidth and a dramatic demand for online college courses, postsecondary teachers have more career options available.

Mathematics teachers also have a multitude of media at their disposal, including real-time audio and face-to-face videoconferencing, and presentation graphing tools that facilitate the instruction of math subjects in ways that were impossible or cost-prohibitive until the 21st century.

Many online instructors work in adjunct teaching roles. This means they work on a contract basis and are compensated per course. Some online adjuncts teach several courses for multiple schools and work enough hours to be considered full time.

#### How to become a postsecondary math teacher: educational requirements

Educational requirements vary with the type of educational institution. Postsecondary teachers who work at four-year colleges and universities are most often required to have a doctoral degree in their field. However, some schools may hire instructors with master’s degrees or those who are doctoral candidates for some part-time positions.

Instructors with master’s degrees comprise the majority of full-time teaching positions at two-year colleges. Candidates holding dual master’s degrees are at an advantage because they can teach more than one subject. Many two-year institutions prefer applicants who have experience with distance learning or teaching.

Doctoral programs generally take six to eight years to complete, including time spent earning a master’s degree and writing a doctoral dissertation. It is fairly common for students in some fields to conduct postdoctoral research for two additional years before they seek a faculty position.

#### Postsecondary/college math teacher salary and employment projections

Postsecondary mathematical science teachers earn a median salary of $65,930, according to BLS data for 2013. The statistics cover math teachers working at colleges, universities and professional schools at the local and state levels, and for private institutions. On average, university and four-year college teachers earn higher salaries than their counterparts at junior colleges.

Employment of postsecondary mathematical science teachers is projected to grow.

Employment by industry | Median salary by industry | |
---|---|---|

Private junior college | 1.1% | $60,960 |

State junior college | 13.4% | $51,640 |

Local junior college | 30.9% | $66,750 |

Private university | 23.8% | $69,850 |

State university | 28.5% | $69,880 |

Local university | 2.1% | $96,490 |

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics*

**A note on tenure**: For postsecondary teachers, a significant goal in the traditional academic career is attaining tenure — a guarantee that a professor cannot be fired without just cause. The process can take up to seven years of moving up the ranks in tenure-track positions. The ranks are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Tenure is granted through a review of the candidate’s research, contribution to the institution, and teaching. However, institutions are relying more heavily on limited-term and part-time faculty contracts; therefore, fully tenured positions and positions on a “tenure track” are declining.

#### Pros and cons of being a college math teacher

**Pros**:

- Teaching students who share a passion for applied mathematics
- Becoming an expert in a niche area of mathematics like statistics and probability or economic derivatives modeling
- Working with young adults who are fascinated with mathematics, either as a future career choice or to supplement professions in science, engineering, medical research and finance
- Working in an urban setting or college town where the local community places a premium on higher learning
- Collaborating with other educational professionals in a collegial environment that thrives on the acquisition of knowledge
- Opportunities to publish and work toward tenure are available
- Numerous opportunities exist to collaborate with other professionals in the field by attending conferences, symposiums, and visiting instructor exchange programs

**Cons**:

- Teaching college students is demanding and requires long hours devoted to course preparation
- The sometimes bureaucratic policies on campuses of higher learning can be frustrating for teachers who feel inhibited by structured environments that limit the creative process
- The competition to achieve tenure and get published is intense at most postsecondary schools
- The salaries for college professors are relatively low compared to some counterpart experts in the private sector

## Professional development for math teachers

Mathematics teachers seeking professional development can greatly benefit from learning to leverage computers and simple audiovisual technology for multimedia demonstrations and interactive math lessons.

Professional associations for mathematics instructors offer all kinds of webinars, correspondence courses, one-day seminars, symposiums and other continuing education platforms to help teachers advance their knowledge of math subjects, improve teaching skills and broaden their scope of educational best practices. These are terrific opportunities to enhance one’s understanding of math concepts while meeting like-minded professionals and improving a resume, LinkedIn page or other professional social media profile.

For teachers interested in pursuing advanced degrees, math is ideally suited as a supplement to engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, economics, finance, accounting and other disciplines. Math teachers contemplating graduate studies should consider a program specific to their area of teaching. Primary incentives include expanding knowledge of particular subjects — like data analysis, computer science, aeronautics and astrophysics — and remaining competitive in the job market with their peers.

### Benefits of continuing education for math teachers

BLS statistics reflect that professionals with a master’s degree have a greater chance for promotions and an increase in salaries. This is particularly true for teachers. The difference in salary between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree for a novice teacher is $3,000 annually; and, after 10 years of experience, the bump increases to $4,500, according to BLS data.

Continuing education is a great way to keep a career on track, expand knowledge, remain competitive, and increase one’s real value in the jobs market.

#### What kinds of graduate programs can help math teachers?

Studies reveal strong, positive correlations between a teacher’s subject-specific expertise and student achievement. These findings suggest that not all degrees are created equal, and that mathematics teachers seeking graduate studies should look for programs that help elevate their math-subject expertise.

For math teachers who are considering a master’s degree, grade level, curriculum and educational leadership are three primary considerations.

For example:

- Middle school math teachers may want to expand their knowledge of a particular subject, like algebra or analytics.
- High school math teachers may seek knowledge about classroom management techniques or educational leadership best practices that could serve them well as assistant principals.
- Postsecondary mathematical science teachers might want to obtain a second master’s degree as a springboard toward a doctorate in education that could eventually lead to a role as a school district superintendent.

Concordia University-Portland’s MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Mathematics concentration alleviates many challenges associated with teaching math. The program is designed to:

- Increase learning and understanding of foundational mathematics concepts
- Implement effective teaching strategies aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards
- Address developmental and differentiated learning, with the goal of helping students at all levels understand mathematics
- Teach early childhood development concepts through best practices and current technology
- Develop a personal understanding of mathematics with new approaches to teaching and solving math problems
- Strengthen a teacher’s understanding of geometry and instructional practices to help increase student learning
- Increase a teacher’s knowledge of instructional practices to improve students’ understanding of algebraic concepts, data analysis and probability

### Professional associations for math teachers

- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Mathematical Association of America
- NCSM
- Math for America
- American Mathematical Society
- American Institute of Mathematics
- Math Teachers’ Circle Network
- We Use Math
- Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
- Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition

## Jobs available to math teachers beyond teaching

Mathematics teachers are inquisitive, analytical and logical. They possess a natural inclination for identifying similarities and differences in groups and are predisposed to solving problems. They are trained to follow procedures, break problems down into their component parts and arrive at exact answers. This makes them well suited for careers that tap into their math education backgrounds. Careers for current mathematics teachers looking to transition into other fields include:

- Actuary or risk analyst for an insurance company, surety or financial institution
- Computer programmer, software code writer or cryptologist
- Economist, financial analyst or investment advisor for banking and commerce
- Engineering analyst, technical advisor or support specialist
- Astrophysics, chemistry, medical, biological, or aerospace support analyst
- Statistician, survey researcher, systems analyst, database manager
- Quantitative analyst, policy analyst or polling organization analyst

## Best of the Web: our favorite math teacher blogs, websites and Twitter handles

The web is ideal for math teachers as a tool for research, lesson planning and presentations. Here are some useful websites and Twitter reso

### Favorite math teacher websites

- I Speak Math
- The Reflective Educator
- Grant Wiggins
- Reflections of a High School Math Teacher
- Teaching Math by Hart
- f(t)

### Favorite math teacher Twitter handles

- Steven Strogatz: @stevenstrogatz
- Divbyzero: @divbyzero
- Mathematics Prof: @mathematicsprof
- Teach Maths: @teachmaths
- Math Hombre: @mathhombre
- Mathalicious: @Mathalicious

### Favorite math TED Talks

- Teaching Kids Real Math with Computers: In this 17-minute video, Conrad Wolfram discusses the issues related to mathematics education and suggests restructuring the curriculum.
- Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education: Salman Khan, creator of Khan Academy, discusses the use of videos in the classroom to improve education for students everywhere in this 20-minute video.
- Math Class Needs a Makeover: In this 12-minute video, high school math teacher and part-time blogger Dan Meyer suggests that within mathematics lessons, teachers should incorporate real-world issues that students would face outside the classroom.
- Teach Statistics Before Calculus: In this short 3-minute video, math professor Arthur Benjamin proposes teaching students a statistics-based curriculum that’s more applicable to real life.
- Let’s Teach Kids to Code: In this 16-minute video, Mitch Resnick of MIT Media Lab discusses his perspective on how teaching students to code for webpages, mobile apps, and computer programs will benefit them in the future.

- "Occupational Outlook for Middle School Teachers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Middle School Teachers
- "Occupational Outlook for High School Teachers”," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, High School Teachers
- "Occupational Outlook for Postsecondary Teachers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S Department of Labor, Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Postsecondary Teachers