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To think about the future

  1. Apr 5, 2012 #1
    Hi, My name is Nick. I am currently a Freshman in high school and just wanted to ask a few questions. Right now I am currently enrolled in Honors Geometry which is the most advanced math class for 9th graders at my school. In 8th Grade I took Integrated Algebra while most eighth graders were taking Pre-Algebra. I have been thinking about what I want to be for a while now and since I really enjoy math I was considering becoming a Math Teacher. The only problem is is that for the first quarter I had a 78, second quarter I had a 82, and now third quarter I have a 87. For the fourth quarter I am striving myself to get in the high ninety's since you need a 83% cumulative Geometry score to continue in Honors Algebra 2/Trig, then onto Honors Pre-Calc, then AP Calculus. When I apply for a college will they look at an 86 or a 87 cumulative score for Geometry in my Freshman Year? I also attend Lancaster High School in New York which also features the regents exam by New York state. I scored a 89 on the Algebra 1 exam. Is it okay to have grades in the high eighties in Math if I wanted to major in Math and ultimately become a high school math teacher? I am just worried because in the beginning of the year I didn't care as much since my regular teacher was out pregnant. And if I keep up the high eighties in math will I still have a legitimate chance of becoming a Math teacher and being accepted into a college? Also, thank you if you respond :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2012 #2


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    Hey live4me92 and welcome to the forums.

    The math sequence for teaching high school is not as 'intense' for lack of a better word as a more intense pure mathematics, applied mathematics, or statistics program. It is still a solid program but not as intense (this is the case in Australia and I know this is the case at least at some US universities).

    If you can get into a math education program then as long as you meet the prerequisites which usually includes a high level of math (good marks but not absolutely top notch marks required) and you have good english marks and general marks (I think SAT marks in the US, I'm from Australia) then you should be able to get into a math education program.

    When you end up teaching in high school you probably won't use most of the mathematics you learned in university and you will be focusing on really knowing everything in the curriculum, most likely of your state or something else like that.

    The thing about teaching in high school is not really the subject so much (it's important but not the most important thing) but the teaching itself. Depending on the school you are teaching at the most difficult thing will be getting the class in order so that you can start 'teaching' and you will for many purposes be babysitting: I know this sounds derogatory, but this is a major part of high school teaching in many schools. If you are lucky to find a school where this is not an issue, or a minor one then more power to you.

    Also realize that in teaching math, most of the students you will teach are the ones who struggle. The ones who don't struggle won't really need much teaching and you will only really have to guide them.

    The consequence of the above is that sometimes being an average student in mathematics can help when you have to help the other struggling student because it will be easier to relate to them and their struggles. If you find that you are impatient with trying to teach other students that are struggling I would think hard about becoming a high school teacher.

    If you want to teach high school (if it's a calling) then I wish you the best of luck.

    If you are reconsidering teaching, then I think you would go really well in a mathematics program with your marks. Realize that you don't have to be a child prodigy to do well in mathematics programs and if you really want to get there you will: it might take a little longer but you'll get there. If you're already in an honors course with those marks that is a good sign.

    I have a feeling that if you chose high school teaching with what you've said about your honors courses that you might end up getting bored of high school teaching really quickly: it's only my opinion from what I am observing but I would talk to some people about this issue like your parents, or your careers counselor in high school or even your teachers because they will give you knowledge that is more relevant since they will know you more than a random guy on the internet does.
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