Math teachers shape young minds by helping students learn the principles of everything from simple addition to calculus. If you want to become a math teacher, you will need to be an expert in mathematics who is also able to work with students. To succeed in this position, you must be able to balance the many duties of a teacher and know the education level in which you want to specialize.
The education level for a math teacher differs depending on where you teach. If you want to become a math teacher at a grade school or high school, you likely will need only a bachelor's degree in teaching or mathematics, but some schools require a master's degree. If you want to teach at the college level, you will need at least a master's degree and most likely a doctorate as well. Many countries also require a teaching certificate, consisting of a teaching aptitude test and background check, before you can step in front of a classroom as a math teacher.
You will need a number of fundamental skills to become a math teacher. The biggest and most obvious skill is a mastery of mathematics in order to pass on this understanding of equations, formulas and more to your students. Your communication skills also must be very sharp, because the bulk of your time will be spent speaking in front of a classroom and explaining complex topics. Patience is another skill that helps a teacher become successful. Not every student learns at the same pace, and patiently working with students who do not fully grasp math will help them become better.
When you become a math teacher, you will need to juggle many duties, often at once. Lesson planning will be one of the biggest jobs, because you will need to think about the daily needs of teaching a semester-long subject. Answering questions to help students better understand the work is another duty where your math education will help. Motivation is another duty, because some students are uninterested or distracted. At the college level, you also will need to regularly publish studies and papers in journals to maintain your academic status.
Another aspect to consider when you become a math teacher is a specialty. Understanding one particular field of mathematics better than others can help you find employment. If you are knowingly weaker at geometry than calculus, it could be to your advantage to focus more on that subject. Being an expert on one particular field of math can help you find a niche as a teacher.