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How to Become a Math Teacher

In the United States

To become a certified math teacher, you can:

  • Obtain a degree through an approved teacher education program, which includes supervised student teaching experience

    and  
  • Gain licensure in the state in which you plan to teach

    or  
  • Seek alternate certification if you already have a degree

Education 

 Contact the colleges or universities you are interested in attending to find out more about their teacher education programs. Look for programs that require a prescribed number of subject and education credits.

 

Licensure 

Requirements for state licenses depend on what grade levels you plan to teach and vary by state. Usually, the State Board of Education grants licensure. Find out more about each state’s certification requirements.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri  

Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Puerto Rico 

 

Alternate Certification 

Many states have alternate certification programs that can move you into a classroom setting while you work toward certification. Programs vary between and within states. Contact your State Board of Education for details.

In Canada 

Financial Aid 

NCTM grants and federal student aid are available for preservice and in-service math teachers.

NCTM Grants for Preservice Teachers
NCTM's Mathematics Education Trust (MET) provides grants, scholarships, and other awards for math teachers. Two of these opportunities are available to preservice teachers.

Prospective Secondary Teacher Coursework Scholarships
Scholarships, up to $10,000 each, are awarded to full-time college or university sophomores who are preparing to be certified teachers of secondary school (grades 7-12) mathematics. (Supported by the Texas Instruments Demana-Waits Fund)

Prospective Teacher NCTM Conference Attendance Awards
Grants, up to $1,200 each, are awarded to full-time undergraduate students who are NCTM student members and are preparing to be precollege math teachers. The grants cover travel and subsistence expenses to help students attend an NCTM annual meeting or regional conference. (Supported by the Julius H. Hlavaty Fund and NCTM)

Loan Forgiveness for In-Service Teachers
In October 2004, President Bush signed the Taxpayer-Teacher Protection Act, which extends Stafford Student Loan forgiveness up to $17,500. Secondary school math or science teachers, and elementary and secondary school special education teachers, may be eligible.

More information on the program can be found through the Department of Education and through American Education Services.

Additional information on federal student aid can be found through FAFSA.

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