Math teachers in South Carolina play a critical role in helping students develop skills essential to success in high-demand professional fields related to science and technology.
Prospective math teachers in South Carolina must meet the qualifications for licensure as established by the South Carolina Board of Education Office of Educator Services.
To become a certified math teacher in South Carolina, you will need to navigate the following steps:
|Complete a Math Teacher Degree Program
|Satisfy the Math Teacher Testing Requirements
|Apply to Be Licensed with the South Carolina Office of Educator Services
|Maintain Your South Carolina Math Teaching License
Step 1. Complete a Math Teacher Degree Program
As an aspiring math teacher planning ahead for college, you can choose a mathematics bachelor’s program that is combined with an approved teacher education program. This will ensure you develop both math and pedagogical skills and meet eligibility requirements for a South Carolina teaching license once you graduate. The initial math portion of this type of major includes essential content-area courses in:
- Linear algebra
- Geometry and trigonometry
- Statistics and probability
The teacher educator component of these combined programs will focus on mathematical pedagogy with courses like:
- Approaches to teaching mathematics
- Learning styles and psychology
- Pedagogical theory and practice
- Development of lesson plans in mathematics
- Teaching practicum in a math classroom
The practicum or student teaching portion of the educator program will give you hands-on classroom experience. You will be paired with an experienced math teacher who will provide you with guidance and feedback on your teaching style and course materials.
Alternatives to a Teacher Education Program
Alternative programs are designed for South Carolina teaching certificate candidates educated in mathematics that have not yet completed an educator program with pedagogy courses and a student teaching assignment. This would apply to you if:
- You already obtained at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics
- You are already a licensed and experienced teacher in another state
- You are participating in an alternative teaching program like Teach for America
If you have already obtained at least a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or a math-heavy field, you can either apply for admission to an approved post-baccalaureate teacher education program, or you can complete an alternative education program.
Alternative teacher education programs must be approved by the South Carolina State Board of Education. Approved alternative programs include:
- Program of Alternate Certification for Licensure (PACE) – offering prospective middle and high school math teachers a path to a teaching license if you already have a bachelor’s degree in:
- Computer Science
If you are a licensed teacher from out-of-state with teaching experience, you can meet the math teacher certification requirements in South Carolina by submitting proof of this with your application to the Office of Educator Services.
You can jump into a Professional Certificate as a math teacher in South Carolina if you are an out-of-state licensed teacher certified in either of the following areas by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS):
Step 2. Satisfy the Math Teacher Testing Requirements
There are several tests administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) that you will need to pass before you will be eligible for a teaching license in South Carolina:
- Core Academic Skills for Educators
- Principles of Learning and Teaching
- Praxis II Math Exam
Core Academic Skills for Educators
The Core Academic Skills for Educators exams measure your understanding of basic principles in three subject areas, considered essential knowledge for anyone who wants to become a teacher. Many teacher education programs require passing these exams as a condition for entry. These can be taken as separate subject exams or combined and taken at once:
The Core exams will ensure you have basic knowledge in these fundamental subject areas.
Principles of Learning and Teaching
This exam is aimed at establishing that prospective math teachers are competent in the subjects of teaching and pedagogy. The Principles of Learning and Teaching test is offered in two formats for math teachers, and you should choose the test that corresponds to the grade levels you intend to teach:
Praxis II Math Exam
Also offered in two versions depending on the grades you intend to teach, the Praxis II Math Exam assesses you on your abilities in mathematics. This is an in-depth test and is the final of the three testing requirements for math teacher jobs in South Carolina:
- Mathematics: Content Knowledge for high school
- Study Guide
- 60 questions to be completed in 150 minutes
- Number and quantity
- Probability and statistics
- Discrete mathematics
Step 3. Apply to Be Licensed with the South Carolina Office of Educator Services
As you prepare to submit your application for licensure, make sure you have the following materials:
- Transcripts of your degree in a mathematics field
- Recommendation from an approved teacher education program
- ETS testing scores
You will also need to complete a comprehensive criminal background investigation and submit your fingerprints for analysis by the FBI. This can be achieved by finding a location and scheduling a fingerprinting appointment with IdentGo.
When you have all the materials assembled you can mail it in one envelope to the Department of Education’s Office of Educator Services on 8301 Parklane Road in Columbia, zip code 29223. You can also submit these documents by fax or email.
You will then receive an Initial Certification to teach math in South Carolina, valid for three years. After three years this teaching license will automatically be converted to the next level, a Professional Certificate, provided you have completed South Carolina’s ADEPT formal evaluation (Assisting, Developing, and Evaluating Professional Teaching – ADEPT).
Step 4. Maintain Your South Carolina Math Teaching License
Before your Initial Certification switches over to a Professional Certificate, you will need to complete an ADEPT evaluation. An evaluation team comprised of staff that has been trained according to ADEPT requirements will conduct this evaluation. Before your formal evaluation can begin, you will need to develop a long-range plan that includes specific goals on how you can improve your teaching, as well as a self-assessment and professional growth development plan. A formal evaluation will include:
- An examination of multiple sources of evidence that reflect your performance on ten key standards
- A classroom observation by one of your evaluation team members
- A professional review completed by the head administrator at your school
- A review of your:
- Long-range goals
- Professional growth development plan
The ten key standards of your performance that will be evaluated are:
- Long-range planning
- Fulfillment of professional responsibilities
- Short-range instruction planning
- Classroom management
- Use data and planning assessments
- Strength of your learning environment
- Level of expectations for learning
- Instructional mathematical teaching strategies
- Mathematics lesson content
- Cognizance of your classroom’s learning environment
The Department of Education issues a comprehensive guide detailing the ADEPT development and evaluation system.
Once your Initial Certificate has been upgraded to a Professional Certificate you will have to undergo a separate procedure to maintain the Professional Certificate. The Professional Certificate is valid for five years, and to renew it you will need to complete 120 renewal credits over the course of its period of validity.
There are several ways you can obtain these renewal credits. To be considered valid, they must fall within the boundaries established by the Renewal Credit Matrix:
- Through college credit
- Through a renewal course offered by the Department of Education
- Through courses approved by the Department of Education
- Through professional publications in the field of mathematics
- Through higher-level course teaching
- Through professional training
- By acting as a professional assessor or evaluator for other math teachers
- By acting as a mentor or supervisor for a new math teacher
- Through participating in a mathematical education project, collaboration, grant, or research project
- Through attendance of a professional development activity, such as a math workshop or conference
A final requirement for renewing the South Carolina Professional License is the completion of two hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention, as stipulated in the Jason Flatt Act.
Levels of Certification
In addition to the requirements for renewal, you can also increase the level of your Professional License with education. Your initial certification starts at the first level, a bachelor’s degree, and you can ascend the teacher pay and seniority scale by accomplishing the following:
- Bachelor’s degree with 18 post-bachelors credits
- Master’s degree
- Master’s degree with 30 post-graduate credits
- Doctorate degree