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How Do I Become a Calculus Teacher?

By Alice D.
Updated: Mar 02, 2024

A person who wants to become a calculus teacher has a number of paths to choose from since calculus classes can be offered at different levels and for different purposes. High schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges typically offer calculus classes. Teaching requirements at each of these usually differs. There also can be a wide variation depending on the location, size, and tradition of individual schools. To become a calculus teacher, you will generally need to complete a higher-education degree in math and have some experience in the field, such as a teaching internship.

Anyone who wants to become a calculus teacher typically will need to complete a bachelor’s degree program. Some colleges offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in education that specializes in math at the secondary level. Another choice would be to get a BA in math and then pursue another program or degree in education. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree is a specialized program that is often offered as a fifth-year program and includes a supervised teaching experience. Many educational systems offer special teacher preparation programs for people who already have a bachelor’s degree.

In order to become a calculus teacher at a four-year college or university, you typically will need to have a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, preferably in mathematics or engineering. Another factor in teaching at a university is that teachers are expected to be actively involved in publishing professional papers and research. Precalculus and calculus classes for non-majors are often taught by graduate students in the mathematics department of a university. This could be a good way to gain experience while working toward a graduate degree.

Many two-year colleges will hire calculus teachers who have a Master's Degree in Mathematics. They usually do not require applicants to have taken education courses or have previous teaching experience. Community colleges usually do not require their teachers to be involved in research.

Most government-funded school systems, as well as many private schools, require a person to acquire a teaching certification in order to become a calculus teacher. This typically requires achieving a certain score on a standardized test. Certification requirements often include a specific number of college credits or specific college courses. Additionally, the applicant will be required to prove that he or she has had some teaching experience. Most college education programs include at least one semester of student teaching, which could fulfill this requirement.

Historically, calculus was the introductory class for higher mathematics and engineering classes. It involved hours of memorizing formulas, plotting intricate graphs, and calculating to solve equations. The use of computers and scientific calculators in the classroom has transformed the nature of calculus classes. A person who wants to become a calculus teacher typically will need to demonstrate familiarity with current technology and the desire to be innovative and creative in incorporating new technological advances.

As part of this process, a would-be calculus teacher can take a spin at calculus tutoring. Doing so can help bolster all the skills that might make you come across as a more qualified candidate. It demonstrates your ability to build rapport with students, proves your competency in the materials, and allows you to cultivate skills in different work settings. On top of that, you don’t even need to tutor students in person, as many online calculus tutoring opportunities allow teachers to refine their skills (and make money while doing it).

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On Mar 13, 2014

Anyone looking to teach Calculus in a high school should be prepared for the possibility that he will also have to teach other Math courses. Many schools have a limited number of Math teachers who team up to teach all the courses needed at the school.

Thus it is common for a Calculus teacher to also teach Algebra and maybe a basic Math class .

By Animandel — On Mar 13, 2014

One of my best teachers in high school was my Calculus teacher. I didn't do great in the course, but without her as a teacher I might have failed the course. Math courses require teachers who are good at taking time and explaining the problems and explaining how answers to equations are derived. An omission of the smallest detail can take you down the wrong path when solving calculus equations.

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