- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Mathematics for Secondary Education
As you prepare to submit your own application for math teacher licensure to the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board you will need to complete the following steps:
|Complete a Degree Program that Includes a Math Teaching Component|
|Complete Fingerprinting and Constitutional Knowledge Requirements|
|Apply for a Wyoming Math Teacher’s License|
|Renew Your License and Develop Your Career|
Wyoming’s math teachers play an invaluable role in preparing the state’s students to be future leaders in the various math-intensive fields. Each year college graduates join the ranks of prospective math teachers looking to make a difference in Wyoming.
The Governor’s Office and State Legislature entrust the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board to ensure that only qualified applicants are permitted to become licensed math teachers within the state’s public schools.
Step 1. Complete a Degree Program that Includes a Math Teaching Component
The typical way for new college students to become a math teacher in Wyoming is by earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics while also completing a teacher preparation program offered in tandem with their math degree. In Wyoming, most colleges and universities with a Department of Education will offer a teaching preparation program in math.
When following this route to licensure, you will usually start by completing courses related to the math portion of your degree:
- Probability and statistics
- Discrete mathematics
- Linear algebra
- Advanced functions
As you move on to the teaching preparation program in math, you will begin by focusing on pedagogy. Once you have developed a strong foundation in education and teaching you will take courses designed to help you create an effective curriculum in mathematics.
Your teaching preparation program will culminate with a student teaching segment where you will work in a classroom alongside and under the close guidance of an experienced math teacher. Once you graduate from a math teacher preparation program, you will earn an Institutional Recommendation for Licensure that you must submit with your application as a pre-condition of licensure through the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board.
The Northern Plains Transition to Teaching (NPTT)
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in the field of mathematics but have not completed a teacher preparation program you have one alternative choice to obtain a teaching license in Wyoming: the Northern Plains Transition to Teaching (NPTT) program. Instead of completing a student teaching segment, you will first undergo intensive pedagogy courses and then be placed in an on-the-job training program in a Wyoming classroom. You will work closely with pedagogy teachers from the NPTT as well as experienced math teachers at your school of placement, who will assist you in becoming accustomed to classroom teaching.
Note that schools are only allowed to hire you as part of the NPTT program if there is a shortage of traditionally-qualified math teachers.
You may also have completed your degree program outside of Wyoming or already be a licensed math teacher in a different state. Generally the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board will recognize out-of-state teachers if their education is similar to that required in Wyoming, including:
- Completion of an accredited teacher education program that includes student teaching
- Passing your home state’s required tests to become a math teacher
- If you were licensed out-of-state through an alternate pathway that did not include student teaching, you must have had at least three years of teaching experience in the last six years
If you complete a math teaching preparation program that is located outside of Wyoming, you must be able to obtain an Institutional Recommendation Form from the program. In order to obtain this recommendation you must meet the institution’s home state requirements for teaching certification, even if these are more stringent than Wyoming’s.
Note that you do not have to actually become licensed in this state, only meet all the requirements for such.
Step 2. Complete Fingerprinting and Constitutional Knowledge Requirements
Two additional math teacher certification requirements in Wyoming are the constitutional knowledge and fingerprinting regulations.
In 1969 it was deemed necessary that all teachers in Wyoming should have knowledge of the state and national Constitutions, and it remains so to this day. To become a licensed teacher you will need to be able to demonstrate knowledge of:
You can demonstrate that you have adequate knowledge of these subjects in one of two ways:
- Through coursework
- Have taken courses in US history before 1865 that includes study of the Constitution
- Have taken political science courses that included a study of the Constitution
- Must have passed these courses with at least a C grade
- Through examination
- You can take a multiple-choice exam on these topics at any Wyoming school district administration office or at the office of the Professional Teaching Standards Board in Cheyenne
- If you live out-of-state you can arrange to have an exam sent to an approved proctor
If qualifying through coursework, make sure to indicate which courses fulfill this requirement when you submit your transcripts with your application for licensure.
It is important that you get fingerprinted so the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation can conduct a thorough background check to make sure you do not have any unreported convictions. Your local school district can advise you on the best place to have your fingerprints taken, and you will need to be fingerprinted under all circumstances unless you are a current substitute teacher or coach.
Step 3. Apply for a Wyoming Math Teacher’s License
Once you have navigated the steps up to this point you will be ready to submit a complete application packet to the Professional Teaching Standards Board in Cheyenne on 1900 Thomes Avenue Suite 400, zip code 82002. Your application should include:
- Completed application packet
- $50 fingerprint processing fee
- Fingerprint cards
- Official transcripts that show you have attained at least a bachelor’s degree in math
- Official transcripts that show you have complete courses in the US and Wyoming Constitutions, if applicable
- Institutional Recommendation Form from your math teacher preparation program
- Application fee that varies if the education degree program you completed was:
- In-state – $150
- Out-of-state – $200
This application is officially for a Wyoming Educator License with an endorsement in mathematics. The processing time varies according to the time of the year. If your application is approved you will receive your first license that is valid for five years.
Obtaining your teaching license will be the last of the requirements for math teacher jobs in Wyoming, and at this point you can start searching for teaching vacancies throughout the state on websites like Teach Wyoming.
Step 4. Renew Your License and Develop Your Career
After five years it will be time to renew your Wyoming teaching license. You can do this either online or by submitting a paper license renewal form. By the end of your first five years of teaching you will have needed to accumulate five renewal credits. You can do this by:
- Attending professional development events approved by the Professional Teaching Standards Board
- Obtaining official college credits
Highly Qualified Teaching Status
The No Child Left Behind Act designates teachers as being highly qualified if they have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a field that is identified as deserving Highly Qualified status. Wyoming has identified math teachers for both middle and secondary schools as teaching in a highly qualified. This means you are considered to be highly qualifying, and by having this status a school that hires you is entitled to additional federal funding. This is adventitious to your job prospects as a math teacher across Wyoming and anywhere else in the country.
As you mature in your career as a Wyoming math teacher, you may find it worthwhile to join a professional organization in your field. These can offer information about renewal credits, job opportunities, and community involvement in the field of mathematics. These organizations include:
- Wyoming Math Teacher Circle – a local group of math teachers who get together to discuss teaching strategies and material. Some of the organization’s activities can be counted towards renewal credit.
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics – a national organization of math teachers that advocates equitable learning in mathematics throughout the nation.
- Wyoming Science Teachers Association – because mathematics is an indispensable part of science, math teachers can find allies in this association, one of whose recent workshops was the Wyoming Math and Science Teachers Professional Development Conference.
National Board Certification
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is a non-profit national organization recognized as the country’s leader in identifying highly qualified teachers. The NBPTS offers two types of certifications for Wyoming math teachers depending on the grades they teach:
National Board Certification can be accomplished by going through a lengthy and detailed process of evaluation. This will involve you compiling a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates the following:
- Professional development in the areas of teaching and mathematics
- Community leadership and development in the field of mathematics
- Measurable progress in your students’ mathematical abilities as a result of your effective teaching
As part of gaining NBPTS certification you will also need to pass a series of evaluations.