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Top Questions About Online Math Teacher Certification Programs

by
Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on January 9, 2020

If you love working with numbers and want to share this important life skill with the next generation of young people, becoming a math teacher may be for you.

While pursuing a teaching certificate may seem challenging, especially if you are changing careers, the good news is that alternative teacher certification programs have a curriculum in place designed to accommodate students who find themselves in a wide variety of life circumstances. 

Whether you’re looking for a career change, wanting to get back into the workforce after retirement or staying at home with kids, or are looking for another rewarding career after serving in the military, becoming a teacher can be incredibly rewarding. 

Teaching math, in particular, can open the door to many opportunities since STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is considered to be one of the most in demand teaching jobs in Texas

In fact, you may find teaching bonuses and other incentives like educational loan forgiveness from districts across the state of Texas as they compete for the best mathematics teachers. 

If you’re not yet convinced that there is a path for you to become a math teacher, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter about certification programs and the process of earning a teaching certificate. 

 

Do I Qualify For An Alternative Teacher Certification Program?

 

online math teacher certification programsThere is almost always a path for you to earn a certificate to teach mathematics, whether you have an undergraduate degree, work experience or a combination of both. 

It’s important to check with your alternative teacher certification program to determine whether your educational and/or work background qualifies you for that particular program, but in general, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) sets these minimum requirements:

For those who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, you must:

  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA on an official transcript from an accredited institution or in the last 60 semester hours of courses attempted.
  • If in the final semester of your bachelor’s degree program, you must provide documentation that includes a copy of your final semester schedule of classes, a letter from an academic advisor indicating you are eligible for graduation, and an official transcript through the previous semester.
  • Have completed 15 semester credit hours in math or science for teaching 7th grade or above (12 hours for subject areas that are not math or science).

Important note: If you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement or the number of semester credit hours in math as outlined above, after Jan. 26, 2020, you must take a TxPACT exam. Up until this day, you can take a TExES content exam that will allow you to enroll in an alternative teacher certification program. We discuss this change later in this article, as well as in our article, Breaking News: TExES Exam Rules Changing.

For those with an associate’s degree, you must:

  • Provide proof of your degree
  • Have at least two years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past 10 years in the field you plan to teach
  • Pass the appropriate TxPACT exam or TExES content exam, depending on your timeline

For those without a degree, you must: 

  • Have five years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past 10 years in the field you plan to teach
  • Pass the appropriate TxPACT exam or TExES content exam, depending on your timeline

 

Is An Online Program Right For Me?

 

online math teacher certification programsOnline teacher certification programs definitely have their perks, especially if you lead a busy life by working another job, taking care of loved ones or both. 

An online program offers:

  • Flexibility. This is one of the biggest benefits in that you can complete math and teacher coursework around YOUR schedule. 
  • A comfortable learning environment. Whether you like to study in a coffee shop or in your pajamas, online courses provide an enhanced sense of comfort and ease.
  • More choices. Depending on where you live, you may be very limited in what courses you can take in person. Courses offered online allow for geographic flexibility, permitting you to take a class being offered on the other side of Texas without having to leave your home.

While there are many benefits to online programs, it’s important to weigh any negative aspects as well when determining whether an online setting is right for you. Online programs don’t:

  • Provide the opportunity for hands-on learning. There is little doubt that teachers who have hands-on training tend to feel more comfortable and have better classroom management skills once they start their first teaching job.
  • Promote personalization. More face-to-face interactions can promote better group work skills, more opportunities for networking and better support in the long run. 
  • Help with discipline. If you have poor study habits or find yourself distracted by life circumstances (who isn’t?), it may be more helpful to you to enroll in a program where you can focus on one thing at a time while at school.
  • Make it easy for those who struggle with tech. Though you’ll likely still need to become familiar with computer programs when enrolled in any teacher certification program, if you do your coursework strictly online and struggle with limited computer skills, instructors will not be readily available to assist with any problems you face. 

So what is the solution if you find yourself liking the benefits of an online program, but disliking the negative aspects that also come with one? Look for an alternative teacher certification program that offers the best of both worlds, like ECAP

A program that offers the flexibility of online training and the benefits of face-to-face interaction will capture the right balance and provide a more comprehensive experience for you.

 

When Should I Take My Content Exams?

 

If you haven’t heard, the state of Texas has changed the rules involving when you can take the TExES content exams. 

This impacts you if you have not yet passed your content exam(s) and signed enrollment documents by Jan. 26, 2020. After this date, you will be subject to new rules that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is implementing for admitting new first-year teacher candidates. 

You can read about these new rules in our article, Breaking News: TExES Exam Rules Changing.

If you’re too late and you’re reading this article on or after Jan. 27, not to worry. ECAP will work with you to ensure you get in front of a classroom as soon as possible and fulfill your dream of becoming a math teacher. 

 

Apply to ECAP

 

Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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