About the Profession of Teaching Mathematics at the Secondary Level
A well-prepared teacher plays a vital role in the academic and social development of children during their formative years. The work that teachers do plays a pivotal role in determining the outcome of their students’ lives. Secondary mathematics teachers act as facilitators of learning, using classroom presentations, individual instruction, group learning, and a variety of other pedagogies to help inspire and motivate students to learn and apply mathematical concepts to everyday life. In a given day, a mathematics teacher will plan, critique, and implement lessons; prepare, administer, and grade assessments; and manage classroom discipline. Additionally, teachers communicate with parents, support staff, and school administration to monitor both the educational and emotional needs of diverse groups of students.
Employment in high-demand teaching fields like secondary mathematics is projected to be excellent in the coming years. Currently, many school districts find it difficult to hire qualified teachers in the fields of mathematics and science.
Pennsylvania and the other 49 states require public school teachers to be certified. A mathematics/secondary education degree certifies teachers for grades 7 through 12. All states require teachers to have a Bachelor of Science degree and to have completed an approved teacher training program. Teachers are required to demonstrate their basic education skills and proficiency in their subject by completing universal teaching exams (in Pennsylvania teachers are required to take the Praxis Exams). Some states mandate that teachers continue their education within a prescribed time once they begin teaching. Additionally, several states, including Pennsylvania, require teachers to complete a minimum number of hours of continuing education or college credits throughout their teaching career.
With additional training and education, teachers may advance into such positions as school librarians, reading specialists, department directors, gifted educators, or guidance counselors. Additionally, teachers may become principals or take on other school administrator duties.