Can You Teach Math Without a Teaching Degree?

We hear a lot of questions from folks about if they’re eligible to become a teacher, like “can you teach math without a math degree?” or “do you need a teaching degree to teach?” While the traditional path to becoming a teacher is still a common route for educators, obtaining alternative teaching certifications has become increasingly common. In fact, according to the most current data from the National Center for Education Statistics, about 18% of public school teachers entered teaching through an alternative route in the 2015-16 school year. These kinds of non-traditional pathways are an essential aspect of helping school districts fill their teacher vacancies and connect students with high-quality, innovative educators.

But how do you become a teacher if you don’t have a teaching degree? You need a bachelor’s degree, but beyond that, it can be complex. This is because the requirements vary depending upon your credentials, what state you live in, what type of school you want to work in, and more. We created this blog post to answer some of the common questions we hear to help talented math, science, and engineering professionals follow their passion for becoming math teachers without going back to college and earning a second bachelor’s degree.

Can I Teach Math without a Degree at all?

In Indiana, and in most states, teachers at the elementary and secondary levels must have a bachelor’s degree in any subject. We need more people who have the passion and drive to become teachers! If you’re interested in becoming a teacher but don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, we encourage you to explore education programs that lead to teacher licensure. 

Can You Teach Math without a Teaching Degree?

In short, yes. There are many different ways to go about teaching math without a teaching degree. In most states, these are referred to as an alternative teaching certification or an alternative licensure path. Wondering, “how do I get an alternative teaching certificate?” Let’s explore some of the most common options right here in our home state of Indiana. 

If you have an advanced degree…

If you have an advanced degree, like a master’s degree, in the subject content area you want to teach in (like math), you can become licensed to teach at the middle and high school level if you: 

• Have at least one year of teaching experience
• Successfully pass the content area test and secondary pedagogy test 
• Have a valid CPR certification 
• Have a suicide training prevention certification
If you want to teach in a charter school…

Charter schools have a different set of requirements for those wishing to teach in them. You’ll need to:

• Have earned a bachelor’s degree in the content area you want to teach in with at least a 3.0 GPA OR Hold a bachelor’s degree and pass the appropriate licensure exam in the content area you wish to teach in
• Have a valid CPR certification 

• Have a suicide training prevention certification

If you’re a career specialist...

There are also career specialist permits, which are two-year permits that allow you to teach a specific content area in middle or high school if you meet particular requirements such as having a bachelor’s degree in the content area with at least a 3.0 GPA and having a certain amount of hours experience working in the content area (in a non-teaching role). 

If you’re teaching in a high-need location…

In Indiana, emergency permits (EP) may be requested by schools that are having a hard time filling positions with licensed teachers. To qualify for an EP, you must: have at least a bachelor’s degree, and you must commit to work toward the completion of a program that would lead to a teacher’s license. 

The EP is valid for one school year, at which time it can be renewed if you can provide proof that you’re working toward full licensure, such as working toward a math teacher certification. For example, at XR Technologies, our educators who aren’t licensed will obtain EPs once hired and work toward full licensure.

If you’re interested in formalized education...

There are dozens of transition to teaching programs in Indiana, including programs like Teachers of Tomorrow, that provide pedagogy training for those who would like to become teachers but would also like access to more formalized education and skills to help you teach effectively in a classroom. These programs prepare you to earn a teacher licensure and may also grant you credit toward a graduate certificate or degree.

Can I Teach Math without a Math Degree?

Yes. Becoming a math teacher without a math degree is absolutely possible. Typically, those who want to become a math teacher without a math degree have other, closely related degrees, such as engineering, science, business, or another closely related subject. Math minors are also commonly interested in teaching math. As long as you have quite a bit of math knowledge under your belt, you may qualify for the career specialist, emergency permit, or formalized education pathways above.

Get Started Becoming a Math Teacher without a Math Degree Today

Are you passionate about students and mathematics? Are you interested in becoming a math teacher, but you’re not sure exactly where to start? XR Technologies is here to help. We believe math education is a process—not just a person. That’s why we provide an all-in-one process as a service for schools who need assistance supplementing their math instruction. We believe in a future where all students have equitable access to an excellent education, and we’re hiring innovative educators, guiding them toward licensure, and matching them with schools throughout Indiana. If you’re ready to make a difference in your community, check out our career openings.

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