Math teachers are vital to the viability and future of Delaware as a state, preparing the next generation of state residents to be competitive in the global job market. It is thanks to the state’s math teachers that Delaware’s students consistently rank within the top-ten in the nation on the SAT. Last year 100 percent of the state’s students took the math section of the SAT, making it the only state with full student participation.
The state’s Department of Education ensures that candidates for math teacher jobs meet the requirements for certification through the appropriate education and testing.
To become a math teacher in Delaware follow these steps:
|Complete a Mathematics Degree and Educator Preparation Program|
|Pass the Necessary Tests|
|Apply for Your Delaware Teaching License and Mathematics Certificate|
|Maintain and Upgrade Your Teaching License|
Step 1. Complete a Mathematics Degree and Educator Preparation Program
If you are preparing to attend college for the first time, then you are in an ideal situation to fulfill the requirements for math teacher jobs in Delaware in the fastest and most efficient way possible. To do this you will need to attend a college or university that offers a mathematics degree in combination with a state-approved educator preparation program and earn at least a bachelor’s degree.
If you are interested in teaching math in grades K-5 you may consider a general elementary education program. There is no special certification or designation for math teachers in these grades.
As part of your undergraduate mathematics requirements you can expect courses that include:
- Linear algebra
- Differential equations
While these mathematical courses will develop your expertise, the teaching segment of your major will develop important pedagogical skills, especially those that relate to teaching math. You can expect these courses to include:
- Pedagogical fundamentals
- Mathematical problem solving strategies
- Educational psychology
- Teaching adolescents
- Teaching diverse students
An important part of your educator preparation program is student teaching. This will take place in your final quarters or semesters and will involve you gaining classroom experience as a teacher under close supervision. The student teaching portion of your degree program is a particularly valuable opportunity for you to receive detailed feedback from an experienced professional in your field.
Alternatives to an Educator Preparation Program
If you already have at least a bachelor’s degree in an area of mathematics but have no teacher training, your situation may be more aligned with one of the following:
- If you have not completed a state-approved educator preparation program in the area of mathematics you have two options:
- Complete a state-approved educator prep program in mathematics as part of a master’s degree or post-baccalaureate study. Some out-of-state educator prep programs in mathematics are recognized by the Delaware Department of Education, such as those approved by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
- Complete an alternative educator preparation program that lets you teach math in grades 6-12 when there is a declared shortage of qualified teachers in this area. Some colleges and certain programs offer these alternative courses, which combine your classroom teaching with mentoring and pedagogy courses.
- If you are not from Delaware but have completed an out-of-state educator preparation program or are already a licensed math teacher in a different state, you are eligible to become a math teacher in Delaware. You will need to submit your official college transcripts and other relevant materials with your application for licensure.
As a prerequisite to participating in student teaching or alternate educator preparation, some programs require you to complete tests featured in the next step.
Step 2. Pass the Necessary Tests
In order for you to qualify for a Delaware teaching license with a certification in math you will need to pass two types of tests:
- Basic skills assessment
- Mathematics assessment
Testing in both these areas is administered by Educational Testing Service.
Basic Skills Assessment
To demonstrate you have a basic level of skills in critical areas you will need to take the Core Academic Skills for Educators series in:
However you may qualify for an exemption to tests in this series if you have achieved the following minimum scores on the accompanying tests:
- Core Reading and Writing exemption:
- GRE General verbal – 490
- GRE Revised General Test verbal – 152
- SAT Verbal – 560
- Core Batter Communication Skills Test 670
- Core Mathematics exemption:
- GRE General quantitative – 540
- GRE Revised General Test quantitative – 145
- SAT Mathematics – 540
Which ETS mathematics assessment you take depends on what grades you plan to teach. You must pass one of the following exams in what is often referred to as the Praxis II Series:
- Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects for grades K-6
- Middle School Mathematics for grades 6-8 only
- Mathematics: Content Knowledge for grades 9-12 but also valid for grades 6-8
Of note to test takers:
- First, for elementary teachers taking the Elementary Education test, although mathematics is one of the four main topics covered on the exam, this test is the general test for those who have studied elementary education. This is because the Delaware Department of Education does not specifically certify math teachers for grades K-5; instead it licenses general elementary education teachers who teach basic math among several other subjects.
- Second, if you are uncertain which grades you plan to teach, passing the Mathematics: Content Knowledge exam will qualify you to teach all grades from 6-12.
ETS offers study guides for the Elementary Education exam as well as these two tests:
- Middle School Mathematics – 120 minutes to complete 55 multiple-choice and numeric entry questions in:
- Arithmetic and algebra – 34 questions
- Geometry and data – 21 questions
- Mathematics: Content Knowledge – 150 minutes to complete 60 questions divided among the following subjects:
- Number, quantity, algebra, functions, and calculus – 41 questions
- Geometry, probability, statistics, discrete mathematics – 19 questions
Step 3. Apply for Your Delaware Teaching License and Mathematics Certificate
You can apply online for your license to teach with a certification in your grade level specific mathematics proficiency areas. You should choose your application route based on your individual circumstances:
- Application for those who have completed a Delaware Department of Education-approved math teacher educator degree program
- Application for math teacher reciprocity for those from out-of-state. Note that if you have at least three years of experience as a math teacher you can apply directly for a Continuing License.
- Application for those with at least a bachelor’s degree in math who will complete an alternative educator preparation program
Once you have completed an application and been successful, you will receive your license to teach mathematics in the form of an Initial License, valid for three years, with a Standard Certificate in your grade levels of mathematics, either Middle Level Mathematics or Secondary Mathematics.
Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your Teaching License
Over the first three years that you have your Initial License you will need to be a part of what is known as a Comprehensive Educator Induction Program. You must successfully complete this in order to renew or upgrade your Initial License to the next level, a Continuing License.
The Continuing License is valid for five years. To renew your Continuing License you will need to complete 90 clock-hours within the five-year period of its validity.
Comprehensive Educator Induction Program
This program is to help you become familiar with your home school as a new math teacher and feel comfortable starting off in your new profession. It will include an orientation program as well as an in-depth mentoring and development program that involves:
- Meeting with an experienced math teacher for guidance at least 30 hours in your first year
- Constructive feedback and suggestions from experienced observers
- Activities and functions that help you to become a better math teacher
Professional Development Activities
The Delaware Department of Education defines a professional development activity as something that will improve your capabilities as a math teacher. As a rule, one semester credit is equal to 15 clock-hours while one quarter credit is equal to 10 clock-hours. Activities that constitute professional development include:
- Professional development planning days
- Mentoring a math teacher
- Forming mathematics study groups
- Mathematical conferences and workshops
- National Board Certification in Mathematics: early adolescence or adolescence and young adult
Math Teacher Resources in Delaware
You may also consider joining professional math teacher associations in Delaware that can connect you with your colleagues and like-minded individuals from across the state. Two examples of professional organizations are:
- Delaware Council of Teachers of Mathematics (DCTM) – a corporation of retired and practicing teachers of mathematics from throughout the state whose aim is to improve the instruction of their subject. DCTM is a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and provides resources to its members such as professional development opportunities.
- Delaware STEM Council (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) – a coalition of advocates and professionals in the STEM fields, this organization offers many resources for those researching how to become a math teacher in Delaware as well as current professionals:
- Mathematics advocacy group
- News in the field of mathematics from within the state and across the nation
- Mathematics resources from the National Science Foundation
- Grants for mathematics educators in Delaware teaching grades K-12