To become a math teacher in Vermont, you will need to successfully navigate a series of steps designed to grant teaching licenses to only the most qualified applicants:
|Earn a Degree in Math and Complete a Teacher Prep Program|
|Complete ETS Testing Requirements|
|Apply for a Vermont Teaching License|
|Renew and Upgrade Your Vermont Teaching License|
Last year Vermont’s math teachers enabled the state’s incoming college freshman class to rank among the top10 for highest ACT scores in the nation. The importance of a strong foundation in mathematics cannot be over-emphasized in today’s global economy, and the state’s math teachers ensure the future generations of Vermont are prepared to face tomorrow’s challenges head-on.
The Vermont Agency of Education is responsible for ensuring prospective educators have completed all math teacher certification requirements. Teacher license applications are reviewed and qualified through the Agency’s Office of Educator Licensing, while the Vermont Standards Board for Professional Educators is the agency that creates the requirements for licensure.
Step 1. Earn a Degree in Math and Complete a Teacher Prep Program
The first course of action for anyone working towards becoming a licensed math teacher in Vermont is to earn a bachelor’s degree or higher. If you are just beginning your education as an undergraduate you will want to choose a major in math that includes an approved educator preparation program. Taking this route, you will initially start your education by focusing on the study of math in courses like:
- Algebra trig
- Discrete mathematics
- Probability and statistics
After completing your core math courses you will move on to the educator preparation program that will concentrate on pedagogy and the actual teaching of mathematics. You will take courses such as:
- Pedagogical foundations
- Teaching mathematics to diverse students
- Strategies for teaching mathematics
- Math and lesson planning
- Solving equations through an interrogative method
- History and psychology of education principles
An important part of a traditional educator preparation program is student teaching. This takes place towards the end of your program and is the point where you can put what you have learned about math and teaching into practice. You will do this in a supportive environment under the supervision of an experienced math teacher.
Already Have at Least a Bachelor’s Degree
Having at least a B.A. or B.S. in the field of mathematics is an essential requirement, and candidates who decide to pursue teaching later on in their careers may find they still need to participate in an educator preparation program. If you find yourself in this situation, you have three options for completing an approved educator preparation program at the post-bachelor’s level:
- In a post-baccalaureate program non degree granting certificate program
- As part of a graduate program that results in a master’s degree in education, such as an M.Ed, M.A.T., or MATL; later on you will find that one of the ways you can renew and upgrade your Vermont teaching license is by having a master’s degree
- As part of an alternate route to licensure program
Alternate route programs differ from the traditional educator preparation programs in that instead of student teaching, you will be placed directly into a math classroom as a teacher. This will be done as part of a close partnership with an assigned mentor, and you will still complete a pedagogical segment of instruction before you begin work.
Altogether, you can find the following approved educator preparation programs throughout Vermont, offered through colleges, universities, and alternate programs:
- 7 undergraduate educator preparation programs in mathematics
- 5 post-baccalaureate educator preparation programs in mathematics
- 4 graduate educator preparation programs in mathematics
- 3 alternative educator preparation programs in mathematics
Vermont is a signatory to the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement on reciprocity for teachers (National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification). This means that in general, if you have met the requirements to become a licensed math teacher in your home state, or are currently a licensed math teacher in your home state and have worked as such for at least three years, you are eligible to become a licensed teacher in Vermont. However the Office of Educator Licensing will make the final decision on whether or not you qualify for a Vermont license.
Step 2. Complete ETS Testing Requirements
Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the agency that manages the two tests you will need to pass as part of the requirements for math teacher jobs in Vermont:
- Core Academic Skills for Educators Exam Series
- Praxis II: Mathematics Exam
Core Academic Skills for Educators Exam Series
This series of exams is designed to ensure you have the basic skills required for the everyday communication that is required for a teacher. It tests you in three subject areas that can be taken in one combined test or as three separate sub-tests:
Praxis II Mathematics Exam
The Praxis II Mathematics Exam will evaluate you specifically on your skills in mathematics. It is offered in three different formats according to grade levels, and you may choose the exam that most closely lines up with the grades you will be teaching. Either exam for grades 7-12 is acceptable, and if you complete an exam for these grades you will also be qualified to teach math in the middle grades 5-9.
- Middle School Mathematics for grades 5-9
- Mathematics: Content Knowledge for grades 7-12
- Mathematics: Proofs, Models, and Problems Part 1 for grades 7-12
ETS offers a study guide for Middle School Mathematics exam, for which you will have 120 minutes to complete 55 questions on the subjects of:
You can find a study guide for the Mathematics: Content Knowledge exam, for which you will have 150 minutes to complete 60 questions on the subjects of:
- Number and quantity
- Discrete mathematics
- Probability and statistics
You may also consult a study guide for the Mathematics Proofs, Models, and Problems Part 1 exam, for which you will have 60 minutes to complete two problems, a proof, and a model that incorporate the skills of:
- Technology use with a graphing calculator
- reasoning and proofs
- problem solving
Step 3. Apply for a Vermont Teaching License
Once you have reached this point in the steps you will be ready to apply for a Vermont teaching license. To do this you will need to send the following to the Office of Educator Licensing in Barre on 219 North Main Street Suite 402, zip code 05641:
- Completed application packet
- Unopened official transcripts from the school where you completed your mathematics degree and from your educator preparation program
- $160 licensing fee
- Current résumé
You will also need to be fingerprinted for a criminal history check before your application can be approved. Additionally you must arrange to have ETS send your test scores to the Office of Educator Licensing.
Applications for licensure take between 8-12 weeks to process. Once your application has been approved your teaching license will be mailed to you. The official license you will receive is a Level 1 Professional Educator’s License, valid for three years. Once you have earned your license you can start applying for vacant math teacher jobs posted on the Agency of Education’s employment website.
Step 4. Renew and Upgrade Your Vermont Teaching License
Vermont has established Local Standards Boards (LSBs) and Regional Standards Boards (RSBs) that play an important role in the teaching license renewal and upgrade process. You will work with your LSB or RSB as you complete the requirements to renew your math teaching license, and once the board has confirmed this they will recommend that your license be renewed to the Agency of Education. If your area is not served by one of these boards then you can renew your license directly with the Agency.
To renew your license you will need to demonstrate skills in four key teaching standards:
- Mathematical content knowledge and skills
- Professional responsibility
- Skill in dealing with learners and learning
- Skill in your instructional practice
Level 1 renewal – to renew this license you will need to obtain three credits or 45 hours of professional learning that advances these standards. One-third of this must be dedicated to improving your knowledge and teaching of mathematics. However instead of renewing your Level 1 License, you are encouraged to upgrade to a Level 2 License.
Level 2 issuance – to move from a Level 1 to a Level 2 License you will need to meet the following conditions:
- Be recommended by your LSB or RSB, or the Agency of Education for an upgrade
- Have worked for at least three successful years as a math teacher
- Met the renewal requirements for a Level 1 License
- Have developed an Individual Professional Learning Plan (IPLP) with at least three goals
Level 3 issuance – to upgrade from a Level 2 to a Level License, you will need to accomplish the following:
- Develop a portfolio that provides evidence of your continuous professional growth through self-assessment, reflection, and professional learning. This should include:
- An Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP)
- 9 credits of 135 hours of professional learning activities
- Another IPLP
You can find detailed directions on how to develop your IPDP and IPLP on the Agency of Education’s Guide to Licensing for Educators.
As you upgrade your license and obtain the requisite amount of college credits or professional learning activities, you may find it worthwhile to earn a master’s degree in education, such as an MATL, M.A.T., or M.Ed. This will provide you with stronger credentials, fulfill some of the license renewal requirements, and increase your value to your home school.