As you attend college and build on your qualifications you will need to complete these requirements to become a math teacher in Maine:
|Earn a Bachelor’s Degree to Prepare to Become a Math Teacher in Maine|
|Complete the Math Teacher Testing Requirements|
|Become a Certified Math Teacher in Maine|
|Focus on Your Professional Development|
Last year 95 percent of students in Maine took the SAT test in mathematics, the third-highest rate of all states in the nation. Current estimations predict that in the coming decade one in seven jobs in Maine will be in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
Math teachers in Maine have the important task of preparing the state’s students to be competitive in the global job market of tomorrow. It is for this reason that teaching math in Maine is a lifelong, satisfying career choice enjoyed by many.
The qualification process to become a math teacher in Maine will take years to complete and involve working with the Maine Department of Education Certification Office.
Step 1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree to Prepare to Become a Math Teacher
As a new or prospective college student, the first step you will need to take to become a certified math teacher is to complete a bachelor’s degree at minimum. This should include a major in the field of mathematics that includes an approved teacher education program specific to mathematics. Initially you will start with courses in your math major:
- Statistics and probability
- Discrete mathematics
As your degree program advances you will make a transition to start completing courses in your teacher education program. This will be centered on education and pedagogy, and will also include at least 24 semester credits relating to instruction of mathematics in the classroom.
Your educator program will include courses in
- Psychology of learning
- Fundamentals of pedagogical theory
- Strategies for teaching math
- Lesson planning and resources for mathematics
- Teaching exceptional students in mathematics
As you near the end of your teacher education program you will need to complete at least one full semester of student teaching. For this you will be placed in a local classroom where you will work under the close guidance and supervision of an experienced math teacher who will provide you with valuable assistance.
If you are an out-of-state teacher who is licensed in your home state to teach mathematics, the Maine Department of Education will generally consider you as eligible to obtain a teaching certificate in-state provided that your home state’s requirements for certification are similar to those of Maine.
Step 2. Complete the Math Teacher Testing Requirements
You will need to pass three tests to become a certified math teacher in Maine, all of which are administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS):
- Praxis or Core exams – these ensure that you have a basic level of skills required for all teachers
- Principles of Learning and Teaching – this exam evaluates you on your pedagogical skills and knowledge
- Praxis II Mathematics – this test assesses you abilities in the field of mathematics to ensure you are qualified to teach this subject
Praxis or Core Exams
You may choose to sit for either of the following series of exams. You can also choose to take the subject sub-tests together at once in a combined exam or separately on different days:
- Praxis I Series
- Core Academic Skills for Educators Series
Principles of Learning and Teaching
The test itself is comprised of 70 multiple-choice and four constructed response questions, for which you will have two hours. Questions are taken from the following subject areas:
- Students as learners
- Process of instruction
- Strengths, limitations, and types of assessments
- Professional development and leadership
- Analysis of scenarios dealing with these subject areas
Praxis II Mathematics
This exam is offered in two formats. You should choose the one that most closely corresponds to the grade levels you intend to teach:
- Comprised of 55 questions
- 120 minutes allotted for completion
- Subjects covering:
- Mathematics: Content Knowledge for secondary education
- Comprised of 60 questions
- 150 minutes allotted for completion
- Subjects covering:
- Numbers and functions
- Probability and statistics
- Discrete mathematics
Step 3. Become a Certified Math Teacher in Maine
Completing the steps up to this point will have fulfilled all the math teacher certification requirements in Maine.
Your final step towards applying will be to assemble the following materials for submission to the Department of Education’s Certification Office in Augusta:
- Official transcripts
- Completed application
- Test scores
- $100 application fee
- Proof of student teaching or at least one year of teaching in Maine
You can check the status of your application online with the Maine Education Data Management System (MEDMS) portal.
After your application is accepted, the first credential you will receive is known as the Provisional Certification with an endorsement in mathematics. Your Provisional Certification is valid for two years. You will then apply for a Professional Certification after obtaining a favorable recommendation from the school where you teach.
When you begin your new career as a math teacher you will have the opportunity to participate in what is known as an Educator Induction Program. This will assist you with resources and constructive feedback from some of your more advanced colleagues who will provide you with a systematic structure of support. Later on in your math teaching career you may also choose to participate in such a program as a mentor, being able to reflect upon your own experience and discover new ways of improving your teaching effectiveness.
Step 4. Focus on Your Professional Development
Your Professional Certification is valid for five years and the Certification Office will notify you when it is time to renew this. To be eligible to renew your Professional Certification, you will need to complete six continuing professional education renewal credits each five-year cycle. These need to be approved by the Department of Education as courses that advance your teaching effectiveness and skills in the area of pedagogy and mathematics.
If you are an out-of-state teacher with at least five years of experience and National Board Certification you can apply directly for a Professional Certification. If you are an in-state teacher you can apply for National Board Certification once you have three years of teaching experience. Administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), this is a program that recognizes teaching excellence across the country.
To become NBPTS-certified you will need to submit a comprehensive portfolio of evidence that shows a high level of professionalism and effectiveness as a math teacher. You will also need to complete a series of NBPTS assessments, and this entire process can take over one year to complete. There are two National Board Certification areas open to math teachers:
While you are certified by the NBPTS you are also eligible for a yearly salary bonus that has been recently determined by the Maine State Legislature to be $2,750.
You may also find it valuable to join a professional organization or become involved with community or state programs that advance your knowledge and understanding in the field of mathematics. These organizations can also offer employment resources and opportunities for professional education credits. These organizations can also provide support from like-minded colleagues, and include the following:
Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine ATOMIM is an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics whose primary objective is the promotion and support of improved student learning in the field of mathematics. One of the ways this association accomplishes its goal is by supporting the participation of mathematics teachers in quality professional development.
Maine Math Collaborative – The Maine Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Collaborative makes reports and funds research into the development of STEM fields in Maine, and advocating for a greater emphasis on STEM in Maine’s schools.
Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance MMSA is an organization dedicated to leading the way in STEM fields in Maine’s classrooms and the broader community at large. The alliance sponsors valuable math teacher professional development programs and creates innovative and intriguing curriculum plans in mathematics.
Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is a national award that has recognized eighty math and science teachers in Maine to date. Participating in this program can earn an award grant of $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.
Mathematical Association of America MAA is a national association of mathematics teachers from high schools, colleges, and universities, with goals that include the advancement of mathematics at the secondary school level.