Not all qualified mathematicians are teachers, but for those who have the desire to join the educational sector by imparting their knowledge, maths teacher jobs can become a rewarding and fulfilling career.
Maths is much like a language of its own, so as a subject, teaching mathematics requires a substantial amount of knowledge. Teaching maths, especially because of the subject matter complexity, requires passion, good communication skills, patience, and empathy.
There are a few reasons why children can fear maths, one of them is that they simply do not connect with the teacher’s personality. It is also one of those subjects where every individual has to grasp concepts that build upon each other, at their own pace, so when a student feels left behind, it can become very difficult for them to catch up again. All of this requires understanding and insight into human behaviour when it comes to teaching mathematics.
Even though maths teacher jobs may sound too pedagogic for some, teaching maths can come with a great many benefits. In this article, amongst other things, we will look at some of those perks.
Perks Associated with Math Teacher Jobs
Long Term Demand
As a career option, the demand for teaching maths online has skyrocketed in recent times. Not only that but the demand for all kinds of maths teaching careers is only expected to increase in coming years.
One of the main reasons for this is that maths is one of the subjects at the core of most educational curricula. Whether you teach basic or advanced level maths, it has become an increasingly important subject and is often a prerequisite for applying for many tertiary education courses. For this reason, the demand for private maths teacher jobs even as an online maths tutor has grown exponentially.
This type of demand certainly creates long-term career security for anyone who wants to look into teaching maths online, or in any other environment.
The Most Famous Teaching Benefit
Teaching careers come with a lot of perks that are unique to the education sector – the most obvious of course are the holidays after each school term.
Benefits aside, numbers wizardry aside, not everyone is designed for the demands associated with maths teacher jobs. Let’s look at some of those important characteristics needed for becoming an online maths tutor or teaching mathematics in a classroom.
Traits of a Good Maths Tutor or Teacher
There’s no doubt, maths teacher jobs require extraordinary people. Not only do they possess a unique way of thinking, but they also know how to conceptualise, analyse logically and problem solve. There’s also the need for good memory skills for remembering arithmetic and formulae and all of this is even more challenging when teaching maths online.
Whether you decide to teach in-person or become an online maths tutor, you will need to be able to:
- Identify patterns
- Recognise similarities and differences between entities that are not necessarily easily obvious to others.
- Think quickly and logically
Teaching maths is no easy job, but to see a student grasp a concept that will advance their mathematics knowledge is extremely rewarding. To do this, even when teaching maths online the maths teacher must display professional characteristics that include the necessity for accuracy in analysis. When it comes to maths, even a slight deviation can result in failure or success!
Another important trait is dedication, because, without it, the maths teacher may not penetrate the understanding of the student. Naturally, for the online maths tutor, the existence of a screen can be an added barrier to take into account.
It’s up to the teacher to ensure that students are not simply listening to lectures but also appropriating the necessary thought processes needed to solve complex problems and understand rules and procedures. All of this requires much time and effort on the part of the teacher.
Here are some of the characteristics that are found in well-loved and memorable maths teachers:
- They are easy to approach and amiable. Students do not feel intimidated to ask questions while they are trying to figure out answers.
- They are well-organised and set a manageable pace for their courses.
- They possess the high levels of patience required for student problem-solving.
- They are intrigued by real-world challenges as well as all situations where mathematical solutions can be applied.
- They are inherently curious with a strong commitment to fact gathering, figures, and data collection to prove that something is accurate.
- They can communicate rational concepts and topics with the use of numerical expression, mathematical symbols, and notations.
The important thing to remember is that it will be both your maths skills and unique personality traits combined that will open up many career opportunities for the maths graduate.
Therefore, if all of the above, does not sound like you, then why not discover more about the other jobs available for the professional maths graduate?
Maths Teacher Jobs: All the Details
Maths teachers need to possess a solid foundation of the very basics of mathematics because it will be these basics that will lead them in constructing advanced and practical maths courses, even for teaching maths online. These core skills include, but are not limited to, multiplication, division, fractions, algebra, equations, integration, data analysis, probability, and derivatives.
Whether teaching maths online or in person, a lecturer should craft lessons in a way where the cognitive abilities of the student are honed and advanced. As an overall goal, the online maths tutor, or classroom lecturer should always aim to make real-life connections between practical scenarios and concepts.
At high school level, maths teachers need to ensure the proficiency of their learners in the following:
- Mathematical Induction
- Algebraic concepts
- Differentiation and Differential Equations
- Limits and summation
- Data analysis
- Partial Differential Equations
- Linear and Non-linear Equations
- Geometry theorems
The Crucial Maths Knowledge Foundation
Mathematics is not like any other subject in that it is not enough for the teacher to simply know the subject. The three overarching kinds of knowledge required to teach maths are:
- Knowledge of Mathematics
- Knowledge of Students
- Knowledge of Instructional Practices
Knowledge of Mathematics
The term ‘Knowledge of Mathematics’ is self-explanatory. It refers to the information which a maths teacher can hand over to his students via the teaching of maths. This includes mathematical facts, proofs, concepts, procedures, methods, formulas, and their derivation. It’s also about the relationship between a variety of mathematical entities, the application of maths in real-world challenges, and numerical analysis.
As a term, it also has a deeper meaning. It refers to the aptitude of the maths teacher to set a clear goal for the instruction as well as how it should be delivered.
While maths teachers do have the necessary education, what sets them apart as great teachers is their ability to set foundations for concepts and break ideas into modules. They should also possess a “sense of mathematics” which influences their decisions as well as how they interpret the mathematical efforts of their students.
Knowledge of Student
Knowledge of student is an equally important concept. To succeed as a maths teacher, the teacher should aim to understand as much as possible about the students he or she is teaching. The teacher needs to understand how students learn as well as how mathematical ideas can shape a young brain.
The maths teacher also must recognise any problems his students face in the understanding of mathematical concepts. This is why exams, quizzes, and tests are used as a good source for identifying common problems.
The maths teacher should give up any dull, pedagogic techniques and rather adopt new and creative methods of teaching that use experiences, technology, creative approaches, designs, and models.
Knowledge of Instructional Practices
The third type of understanding necessary for a maths teacher is knowledge of instructional practices. This includes ideas that are often overlooked or not taken seriously enough. A maths teacher should also have a thorough understanding of the course material to be used as well as the curriculum as well as the knowledge of the tools and tasks needed to teach foundational mathematical principles.
Knowledge of instructional practices requires that the maths teacher has sufficient knowledge to:
- Design a class curriculum
- Manage a classroom discourse
- The study materials and their source
Unfortunately, many teachers have the knowledge of the instructional practices yet fail to make great teachers because they are unable to deploy the knowledge either when teaching maths online or in the classroom.
Finally, whether it’s a teaching career or furthering other career prospects in the field of mathematics, don’t forget that taking a GMAT exam can help to improve your prospects and put you at the head of the queue with recruiters who specialise in placing candidates in maths career positions.
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