Math Teacher Characteristics
- Sound Knowledge of Mathematics
- Good Motivator
- Constantly Learning
People have divergent opinions regarding how to identify the characteristics of a great math teacher. However, one thing that remains unchanged is that all great math teachers have certain qualities that distinguish them from others. These qualities make them produce great results not only for the students but also for themselves. Here are the five top characteristics every great math teacher has.
Sound Knowledge of Mathematics
Every great math teacher has an extensive understanding of mathematics. They undergo a thorough training process in a recognized college or university where they acquire the knowledge and skills they need to teach learners effectively. This includes knowledge of geometry, statistics, algebra, arithmetic and calculus. The knowledge they get from these institutions gives them the confidence to explain clearly all the mathematical concepts to their students and solve equations easily. Great teachers do not consult answers at the back of the teacher's guide booklet. They have all the answers at their fingertips and can help students solve problems instantly.
Successful math teachers do not force students to follow their approach. Neither do they assume that they know everything to the point they ignore any form of correction. Instead, they act as facilitators, allowing the students to offer suggestions and solve problems differently on their own. They allow room for collective discussions so that everyone in the class arrives at the same conclusion. In case a student is unable to solve a problem, they do not allow him to quit. They work with such students and give them the motivation to identify where they went wrong and keep working on the problem until they find the right answer. They also provide the right guidance and support where necessary.
Great math teachers know that students have different interests. They thus come up with flexible programs that identify with the students' source of motivation. For instance, they may motivate students who want to become accountants by giving them mathematical problems related to their ambitions. The same applies to those who want to become engineers, scientists, doctors and any other relevant profession. They also talk with their students on a regular basis to help them acquire the right problem-solving skills applicable in the professions they want to enter into. By doing this, they prevent the students from losing interest and disengaging from studying mathematics.
Great math teachers know that they are not perfect. That is why they constantly read new materials to update their knowledge base. They also enroll for supplementary courses in their areas of specialty to better themselves and gain more confidence in the classroom. This may involve unlearning the outdated algorithms and mathematical terms and learning new ones. Once a great teacher learns about a new mathematical concept, he lets all the students know about it, leading to effective learning and better grades.
Great math teachers focus not only on the content being taught but also on the students. They have a caring attitude towards their students and are always ready to support those who are having problems. These problems could be due to emotional distress, learning difficulties or illnesses. They are able to recognize when a student is having a bad day or needs some encouragement. They also understand that sometimes unforeseen problems can derail students from completing their homework on time. In such cases, they offer second chances when necessary and take some extra time to help such students catch up with the rest.
Being a great teacher does not necessarily mean you have to record high mean grades in your classes or comply with the school regulations. The items mentioned above are the key characteristics of a great math teacher you should have if you want to succeed in your career.