Mathematics is a subject that makes its presence known in almost all other academic fields. Needless to say, math is a necessary aspect of many simple, everyday tasks. Math teachers therefore, play a crucial role in making their students understand the indispensable nature of mathematics in their day-to-day lives.
However, math teachers today face numerous issues in their workplace. As a result, many students that excel academically choose not to pursue a teaching career. It is important to ask, can these problems be resolved? What is the current situation that math teachers in India face?
Math teachers introduce their students to numbers and arithmetic calculations which play into very simple, daily activities. Teachers also have the ability to influence young mind. Math teachers, especially, have a role that allows for daily problem solving, exploration, research and development.
Teachers generally envision a change in the educational system. For this subject in particular, it is important to make sure that students learn mathematics as a way of thinking and knowing. However, mathematics has always had a stigma around it. It has been deemed a difficult subject and its widely criticized for how the syllabus taught in higher classes has limited applications in everyday situations. Math teachers play an unrivaled role in breaking this stigma and showing their students the true purpose of teaching and learning mathematics.
A good math teacher would therefore have an in-depth understanding of mathematics. They would also have a treasure chest of competent teaching strategies and would choose to adopt a personable approach and classroom leadership.
Opportunities for math teachers are endless. Like all other disciplines of academic study, current and aspiring teachers can apply for an array of scholarships, fellowships and grants to advance their education. For example, Indian teachers with five years of experience in teaching Math to students from grades 6 to 12 and have a minimum TOEFL score of 61, are eligible to apply for the Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program. This is a six-week non-degree, non-credit fellowship program at a US University, with an aim to provide a professional development opportunity to teachers. The National ICT Scholarship Award for School Teachers, Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program and International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) Fellowship are other such awards for excellence in teaching.
There are also a number of associations and communities where math teachers can get together and share their interests, passions, and have intellectual discussions. These include The Indian Mathematical Society, founded in 1907 and The Association of Mathematics Teachers of India (AMTI), an body of students and professionals interested in mathematics and mathematics education.
Pay scales of math teachers cannot be rounded off to a single figure. It is dependent on an array of factors, including the teacher’s prior experience, the classes they teach, their certifications and additional merits and so on. However, salaries of math teachers in India could range between ₹20,000 and ₹60,000. This could be more or less, according to the aforementioned aspects.
Qualified, driven and passionate math teachers are always in demand. In the past decade, parents have been trying to provide their children with education of global quality. As a result, teachers in international schools have begun to experience a booming career with better pay and additional perks.
In addition, as virtual classrooms and technological changes have been introduced into traditional schooling, teachers who can effortlessly handle these have an edge over others.
Mathematics is an integral part of everyone’s lives. It’s used to measure ingredients for cooking, in dealing with finances, in calculating and managing time, and so on. A math teacher facilitates this understanding, and therefore plays an irreplaceable part in the education system.