If numbers, symbols, formulas, equations, functions and problems are your thing and they keep you occupied and interested throughout the day then you should consider teaching mathematics. It seems a pretty logical choice for you to impart mathematical education to others.
Pure Mathematics is like a language and the more fluent a person is in this language the better it is for him and his career as a mathematician. He also need to have a passionate personality and a strong desire to impart your knowledge to others.
Apart from that, he also needs to learn how to help others so that they too appreciate the value that comes with solving mathematical problems and mingling with numbers. Teaching is a well-suited career for maths graduates who are both self-motivated and fluent in mathematics.
Maths teachers devote majority of their time preparing lessons for their students. These lectures need special attention in their preparation because maths is that subject which requires analytical thinking, reasoning and critical thinking skills. A tutor of mathematics needs to prepare his lectures in such a way that his students also grab these crucial mathematical skills just from his lectures. These lessons should also help students understand the uses of mathematics in practical life and how they affect certain phenomena around us.
Perks of Being a Maths Teacher
Long term demand:
The demand for maths teacher is only going to increase in the coming years. That is because mathematics is a core subject for any level of education and it is necessary to impart basic as well as advanced mathematical knowledge to the students. Many schools out there, have included special mathematical courses in their curriculum; courses like algebra, calculus, statistics and probability etc. In the past 10 years, the demand of teachers, especially teachers of maths and science, has increased 13%.
Hence, the job of being a maths tutor comes with a lot of security, both in the present as well as in the future.
A teaching career brings with it-self a lot of perks that only teachers or professors enjoy. They certainly get the most significant incentive of 5 days of work per week along with holidays and summer vacations.
A Healthy Salary:
Maths teacher get a nice average salary of about £44,222. Not surprisingly, the maths teachers around UK had a 14% increase in their average salary that equals nearly £2,280
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Lots of facilities:
The Maths teachers are making the most out of the commodities which are otherwise becoming scarce for other professions. Crucial benefits of health, pension, insurance etc. are still applicable on teachers Most schools and universities pay their teachers and professors a good amount of pension after their retirement. Not to mention other benefits of being a teacher, such as, tuition reimbursement, sick days, hospital entitlement etc. Any potential maths graduates who are soon to become job seekers, must consider opting for a teaching profession.
The job of maths teacher does not just include teaching and preparing lectures. A maths teacher must also assess the proficiency and progress of his student because once a student fall behind in maths, it is difficult for him to catch up and gain from the benefits of the lectures.
Let us peek at what qualities makes a great maths teacher!
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Traits of a Good Maths Tutor
Mathematics teachers are no ordinary people. They possess a certain, unique way of thinking. They are conceptual thinkers and have minds that know how to think and analyze logically. Their memorization skills are also top-notch because remembering numbers and formulas is no piece of cake!
They possess a natural ability to:
- Identify patterns
- Recognize similarities and differences among entities that aren’t easily obvious to others.
- Think fast and that too logically
Teaching mathematics is no easy job. Just like any other job out there, it also requires a certain level of professionalism. Maths teacher should also be perfectionists when it comes to accuracy and analysis because even the slightest deviation in mathematics can be a matter of success or loss. Dedication is also necessary because without dedication, maths teachers can deliver lectures but cannot penetrate the brains of their students.
To make sure the students are not merely listening to lectures but also understanding the thought process and the rules and procedures, the maths teacher must put in real effort.
Here are some of the traits found in maths teachers who are loved and remembered by their students:
- They are amiable and easily approachable. Students never shy away from asking questions from them and figuring out answers.
- They are well-organized and well-paced during their course
- They possess a high level of patience needed to cope with the attention required by students in their help with step by step problem solving.
- They are not only intrigued with challenges of the real-world problems but also with the situations that can be made applicable to the mathematical solutions.
- They are curious by nature, and have a strong commitment to gathering facts, figures and data to prove a something accurate.
- They can easily communicate concepts and rational topics with the help of numerical expressions, mathematical notations and symbols.
The important takeaway here is that your math skills, combined with your unique personality traits will lay out a wide field of prospects, of which teaching is just one.
Job Details of a Maths Tutor/Teacher
It is highly important for maths teachers to possess a solid foundation in the very basics of mathematics because these bases then lead to the construction of the whole building i.e. advanced and practical mathematics. They must be skilled in core skills such as division, multiplication, fractions, algebra, equations, trigonometry, derivatives, integration, data analysis and probability.
They should craft their lectures in such a way that helps build the cognitive abilities of the students and enhance the existing knowledge they have. The maths teacher should also inspire his students to learn to make real-life connections between concepts and practical scenarios.
At school level, maths teachers need to ensure proficiency of their students in following concepts, theories and topics:
- Algebraic concepts
- Differentiation and Differential Equations
- Mathematical Induction
- Linear and Non-linear Equations
- Limits and summation
- Data analysis
- Partial Differential Equations
- Geometry theorems
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The Crucial Maths Knowledge Base
Mathematics is unlike any other subject that is taught to the students and it is not sufficient for the teacher to have knowledge of just the subject. There are three kinds of knowledge which are required to excel in teaching mathematics at school:
- Knowledge of Students
- Knowledge of Instructional Practices
- Knowledge of Mathematics of course
The term ‘knowledge of Mathematics’ is quite self-explanatory. It refers to the knowledge which a maths teacher can transfer to his students via the mathematics courses he is teaching. This includes rigorous mathematical facts, concepts, proofs, procedures methods, formulas and their derivation, relationship between various mathematical entities, application of mathematics in real-world problems and numerical analysis.
This term however, has a much deeper meaning. It also refers to the ability of the maths teacher to set a goal for the instruction and delivery of mathematics coursework and identifying the key factor for prioritizing and differentiating these goals.
The maths teachers do possess much needed maths education but what makes them great teachers is their understanding of the foundation of the concepts and their skill of explaining and breaking ideas into modules. They must also possess a “sense of mathematics” which impacts their decisions and how they interpret the mathematical efforts of their students.
Knowledge of student is as much important as knowledge of mathematics is. To succeed as a teacher, the teacher must try to understand the students he is teaching. He needs to understand how students learn and study mathematics and how their brains shape the mathematical ideas he has to present to them.
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It is also incumbent upon the maths teachers to identify the problems his students face in understating of mathematical concepts etc. He can use exams, tests and quizzes as a source of identifying the most common problems.
The maths teacher should move away from dull, pedagogic techniques of teachings and should instead adopt new, creative and versatile methods of teaching that involves teaching mathematics through experiences, creative approaches, technology, designs and models. His main aim should be to influence the way his students learn, think and approach mathematical problems.
The third type of knowledge that is also necessary for a maths teacher to have, is knowledge of instructional practices. This includes the things which are otherwise often overlooked by maths teachers or most often, they don’t take these things serious enough. A maths teacher should also have a knowledge of the course material he will be using, the curriculum along with the knowledge of the tools and tasks needed to teach crucial mathematical ideologies. Knowledge of instructional practices requires a maths teacher to have sufficient knowledge of: -
- Designing a class curriculum
- Managing the classroom discourse
- The study materials and their source
A lot of teachers might already be possessing the knowledge of the instruction practices but they still fail to make great teachers and that is because they fail to deploy and use this knowledge correctly in a classroom.
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