Can an Athletic Person Become a Math Teacher?

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  • Thread starter Isabel101
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  • #1
Hello :biggrin: I recently am starting college to become a math teacher...I really love Algebra:!) I want to teach it... I am in my late 20's, i did not have a chance to start college because of my two kids but now that they have started school i want to go college to major in Teaching Math. The only problem is that i was only good in Algebra..wasnt good in calculus 1 i failed it...i was very athletic I played softball in my high school...and was one of the few freshman that played in the varsity team...but playing sport wasnt what i wanted to do:frown:..what i am trying to say is i was good in sports but i loved math even though cal wasnt my strongest...Do you think it would be a good idea to teach math? They are giving me the chance to go back to school..and i know older people start college late but see teaching math is something i would love to do... is it possible for me to achieve it being that i am the athletic cause i know back when i was in high school... my friend who was into math and science... labeled jocks as dumb...but of course i forgave him (don't ask me can this be possible because it seems to me i shift more into the right brain category...
  • #2
You are more mature now. You had trouble with Calculus because it was too new for you and you did not necessarily keep all your Algebra skills, and certainly some people find Calculus to be more difficult than Intro. Algebra.
You can try a somewhat fast track toward Calculus using a path of Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, then into Calculus 1, IF your school allows you this way. The longer track for getting to Calculus 1 is Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, then into Calculus 1. Just realize that the only College-Level courses below Calculus 1 are Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus.

There is another alternative which you might be able to use. If you can be very strong in Algebra 1 and College Preparatory Geometry, you might be able to take a set of CSET's for the "Foundation Level Mathematics Courses" and get into a single subject credential program for teaching the foundation level mathematics courses. But you still need at least an undergraduate degree in something-anything.
  • #3
Just realize that the only College-Level courses below Calculus 1 are Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus.

Well that list should include "College Algebra" also. The course called "Pre-Calculus" is a combination of College Algebra and Trigonometry.
  • #4
Wow i didn't know this forum had color text.

Anyhow, it's silly to think it's too late or one's not good enough to become this and that and whatever. You could be forced to start at the most basic math courses your university offers and it wouldn't matter. At the worst, you take an extra year. As per the actual abilities, its so easy for people to make up excuses as to why they can't do something. I've seen people quit majors because "it's too hard" and it wasn't that it's too hard, it's that they didn't put enough effort into it. With enough effort, you can become a math teacher. Who knows, maybe you'll hit your stride and find it all easy.
  • #5
Thank you I appreciate that:approve:. I will go talk to my counselor if I can do that path.
  • #6
Thank you very inspiring words. What you can do now with writing tools in the forum.:rofl:
  • #7
Please be aware that teaching algebra in high school has more in common with lion taming than mathematics.

My wife teaches high school math, and when she was interviewing for a job, no one *ever* asked about her a single question about mathematics...
  • #8
Thats reassuring:biggrin: thanks i guess i don't have to worry now:approve:
  • #9
First, you are not going to teach Math. You are going to teach students. Think about the subtlety of what I've just written.

If you're going into teaching because you love the subject matter, you're setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Become a teacher because you love children, not for any other reason. Every day, you'll interact with over a hundred kids, and on some days not one of whom will have any interest in what you're offering. That will make for some pretty long days if you took the gig because you were expecting others to love Math as much as you.

And as others have pointed out, command of the subject matter is not nearly as important as other skills, such as classroom management, psychology, and so forth.
  • #10
I love kids, but feel a bit silly saying so as you can get accused of being a paedo.
  • #11
I love kids, but feel a bit silly saying so as you can get accused of being a paedo.

Only if you are a man. How sad :frown:
  • #12
Hi Isabel 101, welcome to PF.

I don't see any problem with you going back to school and being a math teacher at this stage of your life. You probably are a different person now than you were in high school. Raising two children has probably taught you a lot about responsibility and hard work, which will benefit you in college. If you do find the subject difficult, then know that you found the correct forum community for assistance.

I used to be a mathematics and science teacher and want to share some info that may be of interest to you. First, do you truly understand what a teacher typically does and experiences during a school day? My college painted a vastly different picture than that of my experiences with student teaching placements, and later, my employment. Here is a post where I discuss the positive and negatives of teaching during my experiences ( and here is another good thread that exhaustively discusses mathematics education in general with an emphasis on calculus education in college ( With 1 out 2 teachers in the U.S. leaving the field before five years, it's good to know what your getting yourself into before your final semester of student teaching. With your current life situation, you may find yourself stuck in a profession you don't like. Second, it can be argued that many mathematics teachers do not know how to teach their content. Your college education will likely teach you the content, but little in the way of communicating the knowledge effectively to students. It's up to you to go the extra step, and there are many educational research journals devoted to the subject.
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  • #13
I'm in England and have considered becoming a maths teacher too. I have an interview next week at my local university to do the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). I have observed some lessons and assisted in a couple in two of my local secondary schools. The kids are mostly lovely; but even in observing lessons I found it very stressful; there is a constant banter between the pupils and the teacher where they can not concentrate on the work as basically it's of no interest to them. They are too streetwise, and know that you don't need a lot of this stuff in the real world.

I believe stress is the main reason why teachers quit in the UK. And this is my main concern as I have suffered from anxiety/depression in the past - but currently I am fine after being on medication for several years.

I reckon you can only find out if you can do it by standing up and jumping in at the deep end and doing it. I'm still undecided.
  • #14
Very well put..thank you Bufford Boy.

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