Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in Ohio

Ohio’s math teachers play an essential role in providing valuable instruction to tomorrow’s leaders in industry, technology, science and finance. Math teachers are highly trained and qualified to meet the standards set by Ohio’s State Board of Education.

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The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Educator Licensure is the agency you will be working with as you work towards becoming a math teacher in Ohio:

Earn a Degree to Prepare you to Teach Math in Ohio
Complete Ohio’s Testing Requirements
Apply for an Ohio Teaching License
Maintain and Upgrade Your Teaching License



Step 1. Earn a Degree to Prepare you to Teach Math in Ohio

The most common route to becoming a math teacher in Ohio is through a bachelor’s degree in the field of mathematics that includes an approved educator program. This type of program can be found at colleges and universities throughout Ohio, and starts with courses consistent with a traditional math major.

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After completing the math portion of your major, you will next move on to an educator program that is designed to provide you with the necessary skills you will need to become a competent teacher. This program will focus on pedagogy and include courses focusing on education and teaching development.

Over the course of your educator program you will learn to develop math curricula and lesson plans, which will all be put to good use as your program culminates in a student teaching assignment. At this point you will be placed in a local math classroom and, under the close supervision of an experienced math teacher, you will put your education theory to the test.

Intensive Pedagogical Training Institute (IPTI)

The IPTI is an alternative route to meet the math teacher certification requirements in Ohio that is designed for candidates who already have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field of mathematics but who have not completed an educator program. This is often the case with professionals who decide to make a career change.

To apply to the IPTI you will need to start by filling out an Evaluation Request to make sure you are eligible.

One of the key differences between the IPTI and a regular educator program is that at the IPTI, after completing a series of courses in pedagogy, you will be placed directly into a math classroom to begin teaching. This will be a mentored process where you will receive close support in lieu of completing a student teaching assignment.

Out-of-State Applicants

Ohio recognizes teaching reciprocity with other states, provided the math teaching degree program you completed is comparable to Ohio’s standards. If you have less than three years of teaching experience, you will need to apply for a Resident Educator License. If you have more than three years of teaching experience, you can apply for a Professional Teaching License that is valid for five years.



Step 2. Complete Ohio’s Testing Requirements

To become a licensed math teacher in Ohio you will need to complete two tests administered by the Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson:

  • Assessment of Professional Knowledge
  • Content Test for Math

Assessment of Professional Knowledge

This exam tests you on your knowledge of pedagogy and education. It is comprised of 100 multiple-choice questions, one case study written-response question, and one work product written-response question. You will have three hours to complete these questions, which are divided into three subject areas:

  • Student learning and development – 24%
  • Learning environment, assessments, and strategies of instruction – 40%
    • Case study written response – 10%
  • Developing and maintaining a professional environment – 16%
    • Work product written response – 10%

You should choose to take the test that corresponds with the grades you intend to teach:

Content Test for Math

This exam assesses your specific abilities in the field of mathematics. As with the Assessment of Professional Knowledge Exam, you should choose which test to take according to the grades you will teach. You will be allocated 255 minutes to complete either test, both of which are comprised of 150 multiple choice questions. However the subjects from which these questions are drawn vary according to the test:

    • Algebra and functions – 33%
    • Probability, statistics, and discrete mathematics – 25%
    • Geometry and measurement – 25%
    • Operations and number sense – 17%

    • Patterns, functions, and algebra – 24%
    • Probability, statistics, and discrete mathematics – 19%
    • Calculus and trigonometry – 19%
    • Geometry and measurement – 19%
    • Number sense and mathematical processes – 19%



Step 3. Apply for an Ohio Teaching License

Once you have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, completed an educator program, and passed the required tests you will be ready to make an application to the Office of Educator Licensure.

To make an application for an Ohio teaching license you will need to start by creating an online account with the Department of Education’s SAFE web portal (Security Application For Enterprise). You will need to make an application for what is officially known as a Resident Educator License. Later you can use your online account to check the status of your application and renew you license. If you are from out-of-state or need to send in any additional documents, you can mail these to the Department of Education’s Office of Educator Licensure at 25 South Front Street mail stop 105 in Columbus, zip code 43215.

Once you receive your Resident Educator License you will have four years to transition it to a Professional Educator License.



Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your Teaching License

As soon as you start teaching in the math classroom you will want to be thinking about transitioning your Resident Educator License to a Professional Educator License. This can be accomplished by completing a Resident Educator Program, whose ultimate goal is to improve your teaching effectiveness and your students’ learning. You will complete this over the course of four years, and for each year the Resident Educator Program enters a different phase:

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  • First year: during the first year you will be provided with one-on-one mentoring from an approved mentor, along with emotional support.
  • Second year: this phase incorporates mentoring models that can be tailored to your own style, still including one-on-one mentoring but also expanding to collaborative cohorts and co-teaching. This phase also aims at developing in-depth strategies for analysis.
  • Third year: at this stage your mentoring will shift to begin preparing you for a performance-based assessment you will undergo in your fourth year.
  • Fourth year: this year you will complete what is known as a Summative Assessment. Passing this means you will be able to transition to the Professional Educator License with the approval of your mentors.

Professional Educator License

You will need to renew your Professional Educator License every five years. Doing this requires the completion of an Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) that must be approved by your Local Professional Development Committee. This plan will need to be grounded in four things:

  • Your own needs for professional development
  • The needs of your students for excellence in learning
  • The goals of your local school and district
  • Meet the standards of the State Board of Education

As part of your IPDP you will need to complete one or a combination of the following:

  • Six semester credits related to teaching or mathematics
  • 18 Continuing Education Units, equivalent to 180 contact hours
  • Equivalent activities that have been approved by your Local Professional Development Committee

Senior Teaching Positions

A good way of fulfilling the requirements of your IPDP is by obtaining a master’s degree, such as an M.A.T., M.Ed., MATL or any type of master’s degree in the field of mathematics. Having a master’s degree can provide several advantages:

  • Increased quality of your professional abilities, and as a consequence, an enhanced learning environment for your students
  • Increased professional credentials that can justify a higher salary, improved job security, or career advancement
  • An increased level of professional expertise for your school and local district

The Ohio Department of Education has also recently redeveloped the levels of its teaching licenses, and currently one of the requirements for a senior teaching license is a master’s degree. Ohio’s advanced teaching licenses have the following requirements:

  • Senior Professional Educator License
    • Master’s degree
    • Have held a Professional Educator License for at least nine years
    • Have completed a Master Teacher Portfolio
  • Lead Professional Educator License
    • Master’s degree
    • Have held a Professional Educator License for at least nine years, and can meet either of the following conditions:
      • Have National Board Certification
      • Have completed a Master Teacher Portfolio and a Teacher Leader endorsement

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