From Math Enthusiast to Math Educator: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Math Teacher

Learning mathematics entails more than just solving math problems. The math teacher imparts critical thinking skills to their students, teaching them how to apply mathematical concepts to everyday life.

The consistent demand for math educators shows how crucial it is for individuals who are passionate about mathematics to train to teach the subject. Interested in following this career path? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to be a math teacher:

Step 1: Cultivate a Passion for Mathematics

A successful career as a math teacher starts with developing a strong interest in the subject. Find ways to deepen your mathematical knowledge. For example, you can:

  • Join math clubs
  • Take online math courses
  • Participate in math competitions
  • Play math games
  • Tackle math problems every day
  • Practice mental math regularly.

You have to love everything about math, enjoy it, and notice its influence in different areas of life.

Step 2: Obtain the Necessary Educational Background

You must complete a degree program. Usually, you can pursue teacher certification with any major. However, majoring in math or choosing a math-related major gives you a headstart and provides the specialist knowledge to excel as a math teacher.

Source: Pixabay

Also, note that some grade levels require more extensive training than others. To teach such grade levels, you may need a degree in education with a focus on mathematics or a degree in mathematics. Research the educational requirements for your preferred grade level before enrolling for college so you can get the course combinations right.

Step 3: Gain Practical Experience

Hands-on experience allows you to test your subject knowledge as a math educator and your ability to transfer math skills to your students.

  • Do learners understand when you explain concepts?
  • Can you simplify your delivery further?
  • Can you assess the student’s approach to solving problems?

You can only answer these questions when you interact with a learner one-on-one. And this experience comes through group or individual tutoring, volunteering, and internships. Consider these options to build your teaching experience:

  • Research programs like the Air Force Research Laboratory Scholars Program
  • Research internships
  • Fellowship programs
  • Summer camps
  • Math counselor for immersive student-focused math programs
  • Campus open-house math events and expositions host

Step 4: Complete a Teaching Certification Program

If you have a non-education bachelor’s degree (or higher) and are wondering how to become a math teacher, there’s a solution for you: teacher certification programs. This pathway is open to qualifying candidates who do not have a degree in education and entails enrolling in a teacher preparation program. Completing the program qualifies you to obtain your teaching certification, and you can now apply for a state teaching license.

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Step 5: Develop Classroom Management Skills

Beyond providing a wholesome learning experience, classroom management is also a mark of an effective teacher. Teachers who manage their classrooms well help learners to stay on task, know what to expect during the lesson, and be accountable for their behavior during class.

To help manage your classroom better:

  • Have a list of classroom rules
  • Browse Pinterest for clever yet practical class layout ideas
  • Watch YouTube videos for class organization inspiration
  • Join free online teacher forums for support

Step 6: Stay Updated with Continuing Education

Continuing education promotes lifelong learning, which is an important attribute of any successful teacher. It’s the only way to ensure you’re updated on curriculum changes, new teaching methods, and industry trends. It’s also an effective way of upgrading your skills as an educator. Consider these steps to build your professional development:

  • Collaborate with peers
  • Work with a mentor
  • Participate in online training modules
  • Attend workshops
  • Apply for professional development grants and scholarships

Step 7: Network with Other Educators

Your success as an educator, to some extent, hinges on how well you interact with other teachers. Networking with fellow educators allows you to learn from each other and share challenges and successes. Consider joining professional organizations for educators, as these can give you access to the latest research, grants, and leadership opportunities. This compilation of math education conferences has great options of events you can join.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels


As a math tutor, you can help your students unlock a lifelong love for mathematics that impacts their lives positively. Once you recognize your passion for math and set your mind on becoming a math educator, obtain the necessary educational requirements, gain practical experience as a tutor, complete a teaching certification program, develop classroom managerial skills, embrace continuous learning, establish networks with fellow teachers, and create a rewarding career as an educator.

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