5 Characteristics of Successful Math Teachers
- Empathetic and Encouraging
- Familiar With the Material
- Open-Minded and Culturally Aware
- Collaborative and Engaging
To be a successful mathematics teacher, one has to possess a slew of qualities that allow them to connect with their students. These include both technical and intangible skills. Some of the most important ones are described below.
1. Empathetic and Encouraging
It is known that mathematics is a course that countless people struggle with on all levels. Because it is based on logical reasoning that can seldom be achieved through memorizations, a lot of people fail to comprehend the underlying concepts and formulas. This is why an effective math teacher needs to be very empathetic and encourage such individuals to try different approaches. By showing them some alternative strategies and learning styles, the teacher may be able to help them overcome those problems.
2. Familiar With the Material
No teacher will be able to impart knowledge on others when they lack proper understanding themselves. This is why people who decide to pursue degrees in areas of mathematics have to meet high standards and expectations to pass their coursework. Once they get to the teaching positions, that knowledge needs to be broken down and phrased in a manner that is easily understood by folks who do not have a background in math. Therefore, knowing why each concept exists and how it came about will be a vital requirement for subsequently explaining it to others well.
Since teachers from all areas face situations where they may genuinely lack answers, knowing how to obtain them is crucial. That means that every math professional who wants to succeed in the academic circles should be extremely resourceful. Some great examples include knowing how to look up and interpret journal articles, communicate with other teachers about confusing inquiries, and similar. Also, it is necessary to teach students how to leverage their resourcefulness when it comes to solving problems. Instead of immediately copying the answer, per se, teachers need to encourage them to look up similar problems and review those solutions.
4. Open-Minded and Culturally Aware
According to Forbes, some of the most important leadership skills for teachers, which often underrated, include interpersonal talents and communication. Both of those are directly tied to the fact that teachers have to work with students who come from many different walks of life and carry diverse backgrounds. So, understanding and maintaining an open mind to cultural differences is extremely important and may even determine the longevity of the math teacher’s career.
5. Collaborative and Engaging
In the end, one must have excellent collaboration and engagement abilities. Mathematics teacher will often have to find ways to motivate their students to tackle subjects that may not be too exciting. Doing so can be very challenging if they do not possess the ability to engage those individuals in collaborative projects. Also, math teachers need to be able to collaborate themselves as they will have to handle a long list of administrative tasks that may require them to interact with other teachers. Hence why those intangible talents that were mentioned can come in quite handy.
It is also significant to mention that those who decide to pursue this particular career should truly love the job and everything that comes with. Only them will they be able to seek the status of a great mathematics teacher who is both loved and respected by their students.