Here are the steps that you need to complete to become a math teacher in New Hampshire:
|Enroll in a Math Educator Preparation Program|
|Take the Appropriate Praxis Exams|
|Apply for Your New Hampshire Math Teacher’s License|
|Complete Professional Development to Renew Your License|
The state of New Hampshire drew from the Common Core State Standards to design programs of math instruction designed to make students competitive in the global workforce of the 21st century. In addition to teaching computational skills, New Hampshire’s math teachers are training students in reasoning, problem solving, and using appropriate technology to solve real world problems.
To bring about this goal, the New Hampshire Department of Education designed the K-12 Mathematics Curriculum Framework. This framework breaks down into two sets of standards:
- GLEs—Grade Level Expectations for students in grades K-8
- GSEs—Grade Span Expectations for high school students
Both sets of expectations have content strands and process strands. Math teachers in New Hampshire instruct their students in the following types of content:
- Data, statistics, and probability
- Functions and algebra
- Geometry and measurement
- Number and operations
They also train their students to use these two process strands:
- Communication, connections, and representations
- Problem solving, reasoning, and proof
Step 1. Enroll in a Math Educator Preparation Program
Before you start your education to become a math teacher, you need to decide whether you want to teach math to middle school or high school students. New Hampshire’s certification process differs depending on which option you choose. You can also specialize in math as an elementary school teacher.
You will need a bachelor’s degree at minimum to teach math, but there are a number of different ways to obtain math teacher jobs in New Hampshire. You can either take the traditional path by getting a specialized degree in math education for middle or high school students, or, if you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can become a math teacher through several different alternative certification routes.
Requirements for Math Teachers
To be considered qualified to teach math in New Hampshire, you need to have a number of skill competencies as detailed in the following sections of New Hampshire’s laws on teacher certification:
- Ed 507.25 for middle school math teachers
- Ed 507.26 for secondary school math teachers
In addition to in depth knowledge of math, you need to be abreast of new technologies that impact your teaching. This includes incorporating manipulatives such as algebra tiles and Geoboards into your lessons. You also need to know how to incorporate the following types of technology into your lessons and units:
- The Internet
- Computer-based laboratory units
- Scientific and graphing calculators
- Computer software including these areas:
- Dynamic geometry programs
- Statistical packages
- Symbolic manipulators
Initial Math Teacher Degrees
New Hampshire offers opportunities for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in this field through a number of approved math educator preparation programs. As of the 2013-2014 school year, six schools in New Hampshire offered this type of training. All of them had programs for secondary school math teachers, while four also trained middle school math teachers.
Student teaching is an integral part of learning to become a math teacher, and New Hampshire’s schools differ in how they approach this requirement. In one school, you start teaching in your first semester. In other cases, you enter the teacher preparation program later on during your studies.
You will need your program’s recommendation before you can get certified to teach math in New Hampshire. They will contact the New Hampshire State Department of Education to get you a three-year Beginning Educator’s Certificate. This is the Alternative 1 route.
Post-Baccalaureate Training to Teach Math
Several schools in New Hampshire offer you the opportunity to get certified as a math teacher if you already have a bachelor’s degree. These programs have varying titles:
- Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program (PBTC)
- Teacher Education Conversion Program (TECP)
- Post-Baccalaureate Conversion
They all provide you with math training and opportunities for student teaching, so you can meet New Hampshire’s requirements for math teacher certification through the Alternative 1 route. You also have an option of continuing your studies to obtain a master’s degree in math education.
Critical Shortage Math Teaching
The New Hampshire State Department of Education determined that there was a critical shortage of math teachers at both the middle and secondary school levels during the 2013-2014 school year. Thus, if you have a conferred bachelor’s degree, you may be able to get a license to teach math through the Alternative 4 route.
School superintendents have the discretion to employ math teachers and will need to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. He or she will then develop an Individualized Professional Development Plan (IPDP) that will lead to your full certification as a math teacher.
On-the-Job Training to Teach Math
If you have 30 math credit hours and an overall GPA of at least 2.5, you may be able to get certified as a math teacher and learn through on-the-job training. You will need to contact the Bureau of Credentialing to determine whether or not you are eligible to get certified as a math teacher through the Alternative 5 route.
If you have been teaching fulltime for at least three months and feel that you are competent to teach math, you can consider getting certified through the Alternative 3A route. You will need to demonstrate your competency through a process of review by an oral board and a written portfolio of your skills. Your employer will have to verify that you have been teaching for the designated amount of time.
Step 2. Take the Appropriate Praxis Exams
Praxis II Math
Unless you have a master’s degree in math, you will need to take a Praxis II math exam to get certified to teach the subject in New Hampshire. You have to take the exam before you start your student teaching if you are getting certified through the traditional Alternative 1 route.
The exams differ depending on whether you are applying to teach middle or high school students. For middle school math, you will take the 5169 exam and score 165 on it to pass. If you plan on teaching at the high school level, you will take the 5161 exam. You need to score at least 160 on the exam to get your certification.
Unless you meet the standards to be exempt for the Praxis CORE exam, you will need to pass this to get your certification. Exemptions include:
- A master’s degree or higher
- SAT, ACT, or GRE scores above the 50th percentile
Generally you have to take this exam during your studies to become a math teacher. Some schools require that you pass it to be able to enter a teacher preparation program. It is also required to enter the Teacher Education Conversion Program.
Step 3. Apply for Your New Hampshire Math Teacher’s License
After you have completed your education and passed your Praxis exams, you can apply for your math teacher’s license from the Bureau of Credentialing. You can follow their detailed instructions.
Part of this process involves providing transcripts of all of your coursework. You can either send sealed documents with your application or have your institution(s) send them through the mail or electronically.
You may need to provide a Statement of Eligibility if you are applying through an alternative route. You will also need to provide these documents:
- A current teaching license (copy)
- Testing scores
- Employer verification of teaching
Step 4. Complete Professional Development to Renew Your License
Once you have become a math teacher, you may want to become active in professional organizations. One option is the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics. It is an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and provides workshops and opportunities for networking with other math teachers.
When it is time to renew your license, your first step is to get an online recommendation from your Superintendent. You then have the option of renewing online or with a paper application.
If you have a master’s in education or math and have been teaching math at the elementary level for at least three years, you have the option of becoming an Elementary Mathematics Specialist for Grades K through 6. You must have a valid experienced educator endorsement to become such a specialist.