In order to become a licensed math teacher in the state of North Carolina, you must follow these steps:
|Earn a Math Educator Degree and Complete an Educator Preparation Program|
|Complete Math Teacher Testing|
|Apply for Licensure as a Math Teacher|
|Renew License and Maintain Licensure|
Math teachers in North Carolina are responsible for preparing students to take part in a growing technological economy that is increasingly dependent on mathematic comprehension. The most recent math ACT scores from the state indicate that students in North Carolina are just below average in their command of basic mathematic principles.
In order to help improve student understanding of math, the state has adopted the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The Common Core has been adopted by 45 different states. It supports the implementation of international benchmarks through cutting edge teaching techniques.
By becoming a math teacher in North Carolina, you will have the opportunity to help improve students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and prepare the next generation to take their place in an increasingly math-reliant economy.
Step 1. Earn a Math Educator Degree and Complete an Educator Preparation Program
In order to get started on the path to becoming a math teacher in North Carolina, you must complete at least a bachelor’s degree in math education. There are four colleges and universities that offer majors in Elementary (K-6) Math education, 19 that offer majors in Middle Grades Math education, and 29 that offer majors in Secondary Math education.
In order to finish the education requirements for becoming a math teacher, you must also complete the teacher education program at your college or university. The following requirements must be filled before you may enroll in such a program:
- Take and pass the Praxis Core tests
- Have a total score of at least 1100 for the Verbal and Quantitative SAT scores
- If your combined score is less than 1100, but your verbal score is at least 550, you will be exempt from the reading and writing Core tests
- If your combined score is less than 1100, but your math score is at least 550, you will be exempt from the mathematics Core test
- Have a composite ACT score of at least 24
- If your composite ACT score is less than 24, but you scored at least a 24 on the English test, you will be exempt from the reading and writing Core tests
- If your composite ACT score is less than 24, but you scored at least a 24 on the math test, you will be exempt from the mathematics Core test
The length and specific requirements of your teacher preparation program are predicated on your college or university. More information about specific teacher preparation programs can be found at your college or university website.
Step 2. Complete Math Teacher Testing
Before you can be licensed as a math teacher in North Carolina, you must prove your knowledge by passing a number of tests. These tests will vary depending on the age group you wish to teach. If you are planning to teach K-6 or special education, starting October 1, 2014 you must take and pass the Foundations of Reading test and the General Curriculum test.
The following are Praxis tests administered by the ETS:
- In order to be qualified to teach math in all of the K-12 grades, you must pass tests in a wide range of subjects:
- Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading (code 5712)
- Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing (code 5722)
- Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (code 5732)
- Praxis I Reading (code 5710)
- Praxis I Writing (code 5720)
- Praxis I Mathematics (code 5730)
- You must pass either all the Core tests, or all the Praxis tests. You cannot combine tests from the two sets
- In order to qualify for teaching mathematics in Middle School, you must pass the Middle School Mathematics Praxis exam (code 5169)
- In order to qualify for teaching Secondary Mathematics, you must pass the:
- Mathematics: Content Knowledge (code 5161)
- Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 (code 5624)
Step 3. Apply for Licensure as a Math Teacher
After completing your bachelor’s degree and teacher education program, you are eligible for your Standard Professional (SP1) Educator’s License. These licenses are conferred to teachers with zero to two years of teaching experience and are valid for a maximum of three years. After you have successfully passed the required tests, you can apply for a Standard Professional (SP2) Educator’s License by following these steps:
- Submit an application
- Submit a Completion of Approved Education verification form
- This will require an official from the institution you received your degree from to fill out a section of verification
- If you are already licensed in another state, submit a copy of your license, front and back, with your application
- You must also submit official transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
- You must submit a verification of your teaching experience
- If you have held a previous K-12 teaching position, you must submit a verification of K-12 educator experience form
- If this experience was gained as a student teacher, submit the verification of postsecondary educator experience form
- You must submit an application fee along with your application materials
- Out of state applicant – $85
- In state applicant – $55
- If you wish to pay with a credit card, you must also submit the credit card payment form
Your application materials must be sent to:
NC Department of Public Instruction
6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699-6365
Because North Carolina does not have 100% reciprocity with any other state, you must follow all of the above steps even if you are already a licensed teacher in another state.
Step 4. Renew License and Maintain Licensure
Once you have earned your Standard Professional (SP2) Educator’s License, your license must be renewed every five years. The renewal period runs from April 15th to June 30th of each year. In order to renew your license, you must fulfill all of these guidelines:
- Submit a license update form and select the “renew license” option
- You must include a $55 license renewal fee with this form
- Complete 7.5 continuing education credits
- 1 renewal credit must be in literacy
- 1 renewal credit must be in mathematics
- The remaining 5.5 renewal credits may be earned in general education
- Each credit is equal to 10 contact hours, or one college quarter hour
- A college semester hour is worth 1.5 credits
- All of your continuing education must be completed before June 30th of your renewal year
- You must submit transcripts or certificates of credit with your license renewal
- You may not send grade reports instead of transcripts
- Send all your license renewal materials to:
Department of Public Instruction
6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-6365
Joining a professional organization is an excellent way to dialogue with fellow math teachers about teaching techniques, job openings, and learn from the experience of those math teachers that teach different levels of math. These are some of the organizations in North Carolina that you may want to join:
- The North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM): Is an organization that is open to all those who teach mathematics in the state of North Carolina, regardless of the grade level.
- The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Is a nation wide council that is focused on increasing the quality and reach of mathematics education throughout the country.