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Mathematics Teaching

  • Available as major (B.S. degree) and minor
    Mathematics is a large part of daily life, more than we even realize. Yet many elementary, middle school and high school students say that math courses are the most difficult for them. Open their eyes to their full potential and teach them the joys of learning. Become a mathematics teacher.

  • Math is more than just calculating and recalling facts. It requires a deep level of understanding. Logical reasoning and critical thinking skills are essential.

    As a teacher of mathematics, you will help develop your students’ quantitative skills. You will be one of their important influencers, preparing them for to participate and contribute in today’s world.

    At Olivet, you can: 

    • Study three levels of calculus, abstract algebra, modern college geometry, early adolescent development and classroom management.
    • Develop relationships with your professors and work closely with them on projects.
    • Teach math lessons you develop in classrooms of area schools.
    • Receive one-on-one tutoring from your professors so you can learn what you need to learn.
    • Partner with other students for completing projects, like coming up with all equations to model the curve of the corporate logos of Twitter, Corvette and Toyota.
    • And so much more!

    Your knowledge of basic skills and concepts can lead your students beyond rote learning to understanding. Your enthusiasm, inquisitiveness and drive can inspire your students to work harder and achieve.

    God created each of us with goal orientation, accuracy and precision, order and consistency, recognition of relationships, a desire to bring order to chaos, and the ability to pursue a line of thought and take it to its logical conclusion. Your job as a math teacher is to encourage and develop your students in each of these areas. Present your students with activities in a linear, orderly and systematic way. Be part of their learning.

    Learn how to teach math to students at various grade levels. Provide them with real-world examples. Teach them step-by-step how to reach correct answers. Develop and present creative lessons that are fun and relevant to your students' lives. Learn how to use the latest technology — SMART boards, flip videos, laptop computers, tablets, calculator, computers in our math lab — to enhance your lessons.

    Putting knowledge to work

    Learning continues beyond the traditional classroom setting. Math lab helps you transition from high school to college when you are taking freshman-level courses. Math education majors get extra job-related experience serving as peer tutors.

    Math Club is open to all students, but designed particularly for math and math education majors. You will enjoy finding the fun in math with the “Mathematical Magic Show.” Learn the math concepts behind the tricks demonstrated to you by your professors. Then, go home and impress your family and friends. Or use the tricks in your own math lessons for high school students. Be part of the “Pi Day” activities on campus; math murder mystery; and mathematical origami projects. Do one-on-one tutoring with community middle school and high school students. Share social times and make connections with other Olivet students.

    Become a student member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Enjoy the benefits of lessons and resources, professional development and gathering with other professionals at the annual conference.

    Before your student teaching experience, you will complete between 100 to 130 hours of field experiences. The Teacher Education Program will assist you in securing the school placements for all your field experiences. Our Student Education Association (SEA) is an organization to help you do additional “educational service” activities each academic year.

    SEA empowers you and other future educators to invest in the lives of the next generation. Through professional and social activities, you will bond with other students, faculty and educators who are already working in their chose careers. SEA is the largest student organization on campus with more than 200 students who take part in activities each year. We make a major impact in the surrounding school districts and community!

    Your student teaching assignment gives you experience in taking on more responsibilities for directing the learning activities of a group of students in a “real-world” classroom. The minimum time is 60 full official school days. You will be supervised by a classroom teacher, the principal of the school, and the University Supervisor. A faculty member will observe you on site. This is a time for you to grow, learn and develop as a teacher.

    Careers

    If you: 

    • puzzle over math problems
    • explain math concepts to others
    • enjoy using both logic and creativity
    • love numbers and want to work with numbers every day
    • respond to the energy of young people and their fresh ideas
    • never tire of answering questions about math

    then a career in math education may be for you.

    The need for competent and effective math teachers continues to grow. American students need to catch up with their international peers in math. According to a McKinsey & Co. study from 2009, the United States ranked 25th in math among developed nations. In low-income communities, the achievement gap is even greater.

    Teach For America began its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiative. The goal is to place experts in science, technology, engineering and math as teachers in low-income middle schools and high schools across America. Today, more than 2,900 first- and second-year STEM corps members are teaching middle- and high-school math and science, making Teach For America the largest provider of math and science teachers in the country. To increase this impact, the organization plans plan to double the size of its incoming math and science corps teachers by 2015.

    Our math education graduates who don’t limit themselves geographically are experiencing 100% success in finding jobs. Many are now mathematics teachers in junior or senior high schools.

    This is a brief overview of what the School of Education and the Department of Mathematics offer to students. For more detailed information about procedures and requirements, go to the School of Education website or the online catalog.

    Mathematics Teaching is part of the Department of Mathematics within the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education. 

  • Mathematics Teaching Right Image
  • Ensure the next generation is able to compete in a math-driven world. Become a teacher.

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