The demand for qualified teachers of mathematics in middle schools and high schools is very high. By studying to obtain a mathematics teaching certificate at the University of Maryland, you can make yourself highly employable, and be prepared to make an important contribution to many people.
At the same time, concerns continue to be raised at the highest levels of government about the qualifications of the people who are teaching mathematics. In his 1999 State of the Union address, President Bush said:
... many teachers lack even a minor in their main teaching field. Additionally, students in schools with the highest concentrations of poverty -- those who often need the most help from the best teachers -- are most likely to be in classrooms with teachers who are not fully qualified. [I propose to:]
- require states to adopt competency tests for new teachers, demonstrating subject matter knowledge and teaching expertise
- require states to phase out, over five years, ... the practice of assigning teachers to subjects for which they lack adequate preparation;
In his remarks at the January, 1998 meeting of the American Mathematical Society, Secretary of Education Richard Riley said:
Every teacher should know not only the importance of a subject like mathematics, but also should have the training and the commitment to teach it well and to understand how to blend differing approaches.... Presently, 28 percent of high school mathematics teachers do not have a major or minor in mathematics. The average K-8 teacher takes three or fewer mathematics or mathematics education courses in college. Furthermore, fewer than one half of 8th grade mathematics teachers have ever taken a course in the teaching of mathematics at this level.
Secondary Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland
In order to teach at a public school, you must be certified (unless serious shortages of teachers allow temporary exceptions). The student information site of the College of Education is an excellent resource on Maryland teacher certification information and scholarship programs.
Information on the secondary Mathematics Education Program can be obtained from the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL) at the University of Maryland in College Park. For detailed program information about the Secondary Mathematics Education Program either consult the Center for Mathematics Education. In order to participate in the program, a student must be admitted to the College of Education. Anyone who is interested in becoming a teacher should immediately contact the advisors in TLPL.
- All students seeking certification for Secondary Mathematics Teaching must be enrolled as a Mathematics Major and would usually be expected to complete the Secondary Education Track in the Math Major (although they could as well complete one of the other Mathematics Major Tracks.) The student must also be enrolled in the secondary Mathematics Education program of the Curriculum and Instruction Major.
- Students planning to complete the Five-Year Integrated Master's with Certification Program are required to complete the Traditional Track.
- There is an opportunity for students with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics to obtain FREE tuition and financial support for the fifth year that is required in order to obtain a Masters in Education degree. This involves some advance planning. See the undergraduate mathematics advisor for more information.