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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).