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How to prepare for a job as a mathematics teacher



The area of Mathematics presents opportunities for those with the qualification, interest and aptitude to teach. How should you prepare to land the job?

You should be as diligent as if interviewing for any other position. There are others who are also vying for the job, who might be at least as qualified as you are. You must do whatever it takes to stand out and show you are someone special.

Interviewees for a Math teaching position should pay special attention to the following suggestions, unique to this occupation.

*Are you a competent Math teacher?

This is basic, but important. Be prepared to demonstrate your competency suggests Hervin Rowe, Mathematics lecturer at the University College of the Caribbean, and a corporate executive who himself interviews job applicants, advises. Doing this will involve teaching a topic. Prepare beforehand, with up to three of your strongest topics. Don't talk generally; teach by solving a problem. Choose your strongest topic. This is especially important if you are not a trained teacher.

As you teach your chosen topic, you will be assessed for how well you can relate the abstract concepts to real life. You will gain high points for how well you make the concepts meaningful and relevant to everyday life. Hence, think about the best practical illustrations, you could include in your demonstration.

*Can you motivate?

It is generally understood that at least seventy five percent of students are unmotivated. Any prospective Math teacher will need to demonstrate the ability to get children to like the subject. The administrator must be convinced that the interviewee loves the subject, and is not just teaching for the salary.

This requires that you prepare to teach the introduction of a topic, of your choice. Hervin Rowe concurs, "You can know if someone is excited about what he is teaching very quickly. Competence is important, but your passion is necessary, as it will affect how students feel about the subject. This is true at all levels of teaching math."

*What else do you have to offer?

Administrators, apart from their technical mathematical competency in teaching the curriculum are also looking for creativity. How will you she contribute creatively to the Math Club? How can you help to get students active and interested in Math in the school?"

*Are you open to feedback?
Students do better when they are involved. As a prospective Math teacher, you will need to demonstrate that you are open to suggestions from students, as well as being willing to make them active participants in the learning experience. Include in your lesson some incentive. Children love to be rewarded. The interviewee must be convincing that they know how to keep children involved, active and interested.

Heather Boyd, Vice Principal and Mathematics teacher at Ascot High School suggests that the interviewee should be prepared to answer such questions as "Why should we choose you and not someone else?" Answer this question in reference to how you can be an asset to the institution. Clarify what value you will add.

Be confident and assertive without appearing arrogant. Do make eye contact in a relaxed but alert manner. As noted above, prepare thoroughly. Know the history and guiding philosophy of the institution to which you have applied for employment. Note any special initiatives being pursued, or challenges being experienced. Prepare to position yourself as a potential asset. Use the Internet as well as talking with individuals to garner information.

*Glenford Smith is a Motivational Speaker and Corporate Trainer. Email glenfordsmith@yahoo.com.
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