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What's the best thing to focus on in college?

I am 17 and a junior in high school. I'm interested in becoming a math teacher. #high-school #math

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Hassan’s Answer

Please see my answer on your other math teacher question for details.

Overall, I'd focus on confirming that teaching is what you really want to do. If so, then what grade level? Elementary vs. Middle vs. High School are quite different.

You could sign up for tutoring services in High School and/or college to see how you like helping out fellow students. Check with local schools to see if they need class volunteers so you can see teacher and kids at various grade levels.

Based on which grade level you'll want to teach will help you determine the right major and classes in College.
Thank you comment icon Hi Hassan, this is great advice. I agree that first you need to confirm that teaching is what you want to do and know that there's a difference between Elementary vs. Middle vs. High School. Starting out by tutoring is a wonderful way to gain experience and insights. My daughter is a high school Math Teacher and she enjoys it. Thanks for sharing. Sheila Jordan
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Carol’s Answer

Hi Emmalie - that's so great that you already have an idea of a future career path! College is a great time to explore that and to see if you'd like to pursue that path longer term. In addition to the relevant courses you'd need to take to become a math teacher, also try to network through your career center with math professionals (or even talk to your math teachers now) to better understand the pros/cons of that profession and their career paths. College is also a 'whole person' experience, so don't limit yourself and try any other areas that interest you. You may discover other interests that you currently aren't even aware of. Good luck!
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Andrew’s Answer

Teaching is a noble profession. There is a definite need for math teachers in K-12 grades.

In order to be an effective math teacher, it is imperative to have an adequate appreciation and understanding in mathematics. Hence, focusing on a major in mathematics should be considered a viable option because it also opens other doors for you in your future career paths. Another alternative is majoring in education with a minor in mathematics.
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Emily’s Answer

Hi Emmalie! I'm so excited you are interested in becoming a math teacher.

I am currently in my first year teaching high school Algebra 1. I am what they call an alternative pathway teacher in New Mexico because I did not major in Education. In college, I studied Political Science and the Arabic language. During my junior year of college, I applied for a program called Teach For America, which takes people with any Bachelors Degree and places them in an area that is experiencing a teacher shortage once they are accepted.

There are multiple ways to become a teacher. You can go the traditional route and major in education; however, if there are other things you are interested in possibly pursuing, you can always major in something other than education and do an alternative licensure program like I am doing. In May, I will have my teaching license in the state of New Mexico, and I will be finished with my first year teaching! I hope this helps.
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