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Cornell provides many opportunities for students to explore an interest in teaching mathematics. The following sections contain important information to start you on your journey.
Undergraduate Teaching Opportunities
Whether through individual tutoring and/or through cooperative learning workshops, there are a number of hands-on ways for undergraduates at Cornell to gain first hand experience in helping students learn mathematics.
Tutor for the Mathematics Support Center
The Mathematics Support Center (MSC) provides free tutoring to Cornell students in a variety of courses. Undergraduate tutors are hired to work with students individually or in small groups.
Undergraduate Grader for the Mathematics Department
Grading undergraduate homework offers an opportunity to learn which concepts students most often find difficult and to experience the diverse methods students exhibit in their problem solving approaches.
Course Assistant for the Mathematics Department
Learn about cooperative learning and how students can learn from each other by facilitating weekly group homework problem sessions in MATH 111 and 112. Course assistants are also undergraduate graders for one or two sections of 111 or 112.
Facilitator for the Academic Excellence Workshops
Peer education in an atmosphere of cooperative and collaborative learning is a the goal of the Academic Excellence Workshops in Engineering Mathematics 191, 192, 293, and 294.
Statistics Tutor for Learning Strategies Center
Statistics is rapidly taking on an increasingly important role in the pre-college and undergraduate curriculum.The Learning Strategies Center offers free tutoring to support introductory statistics from MATH 171 to a host of content area courses (e.g., PSYCH 350, SOC 301, AEM 210, BTRY ILR 210/211, PAM 210. To learn about a job, contact Mark Jauquet.
Teaching Without Certification
Getting Teacher Certification
In New York State
See New York State Certification for detailed information about obtaining certification. The following is an overview.
To teach in a public school in New York State, prospective teachers first get a provisional certification, then permanent certification. However, you can teach in many private schools with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics.
In order to get provisional certification in New York State you need: 36 hours of mathematics, 18 hours of education, student teaching practicum, and two workshops (Child Abuse Workshop and Violence Workshop). You can send a transcript and evidence of taking certain required workshops to the state and get provisional approval. You can later use work experience in lieu of practice teaching. You do not need to go through an accredited program to get certified.
Permanent certification requires a masters degree within five years of starting teaching. One good route is to get a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), a professional degree usually requiring 1.5-2 years after a Bachelor of Arts.
While Cornell does not currently offer an MAT degree in secondary mathematics education, several nearby institutions offer such programs, including:
Ithaca College — The Mathematics Department at Ithaca College offers a cohesive, one-year graduate program leading to a master's degree and full eligibility for initial teaching certification in mathematics. The 33-credit MAT curriculum includes coursework in educational theory and practice, continued study in mathematics, and opportunities for field-based learning in varied school and community settings. Ithaca College and Cornell have a Transfer Articulation agreement that streamlines admission to the IC MAT.
Syracuse University — Syracuse University offers an MS degree in mathematics education, with special emphases on these areas: working with students who have difficulties in learning mathematics, serving diverse student populations, using technology to promote active learning, developing skills in assessing student learning, and developing a knowledge of mathematics for teaching. The program has five field placements, allowing candidates to learn from urban and suburban school settings, from a variety of teaching professionals, and by working with students of diverse backgrounds and abilities. A variety of program options are available, including a full-time 16-month program (beginning in summer), a full-time 2-year program (beginning in September), and the opportunity to begin part-time.
SUNY Cortland — SUNY Cortland has the largest comprehensive teacher education program in New York and the 10th largest among public institutions in the United States. Now in its 134th year, Cortland educates more teachers than any other New York college or university. Their program leads to a Master of Arts in Teaching as well as initial or provisional certification for teaching mathematics.
In Other States
About 38 of 50 states accept NYS certification automatically for teaching. Students can get public school jobs in states other than New York with a BA and student teaching experience, maybe with just a BA and some education courses, then use their experience for the certification process.
Recommended Coursework for Teachers
Click here for detailed information on recommended courses for teaching.
Teaching Fellowship Programs
KSTF Fellowships (funded by the Knowles Foundation)
The KSTF Teaching Fellowship program was explicitly designed to meet the needs of beginning high school science and mathematics teachers as they earn a teaching credential and through the early years of their career. During the initial academic year of the fellowship, fellows typically participate in a recognized teacher credentialing program. After receiving a teaching credential and beginning a career in teaching, fellows continue to receive training and support. KSTF Fellows are spread throughout the country and are currently located in 25 different states.
Math for America
Math for America is for people interested in teaching mathematics in New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles, or Washington, DC. Candidates for the program must make a five-year commitment, be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., and hold a bachelor's degree with substantial coursework in mathematics (a minimum of 21 credits in math courses at the calculus level or higher). People accepted into the program earn a master's degree in secondary math education in a one-year program. Ongoing professional development continues through the critical first years of teaching.
New York City Teaching Fellows
Participants in the New York City Teaching Fellows program go through a short, but intensive, pre-service training, part of which includes a hands-on teaching experience in a NYC classroom. Upon successful completion of training, participants are eligible to be hired almost immediately in one of the more than 1,400 public schools in New York City. One of the key elements of the program is enrollment in a subsidized Master’s degree program. While teaching, participants work toward a Master’s degree in education, specializing in the subject s/he teaches, at a university that has partnered with the program. The Master's program takes two to three years to complete.
Cornell Teacher Education (CTE) Program
Effective December 2008, the Mathematics Department suspended its involvement in the Cornell Teacher Education Program. Currently, students at Cornell may pursue teaching credentials only in biology, chemistry, earth science, general science, and physics. CTE (Cornell Teacher Education) is a program situated in the Department of Education. Most CTE students enroll in a five-year program, which combines an undergraduate major in one of the sciences with a one-year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Students from any college at Cornell are eligible to apply to the program as undergraduates. Students completing the graduate program will earn the master's degree required for permanent certification in New York and most other states.
See the CTE Web Site for more information.
Math Education Resources
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics — This site has the national curriculum and instruction standards developed by the NCTM. It contains job listings, publications, articles of interest and archives.
NSF-Sponsored National Clearinghouses for New Curriculum
COMPASS: Curricular Options in Mathematics Programs for All Secondary Students — The 9-12 clearinghouse site at Ithaca College. Many links to sample materials and specific programs.
Show-Me Center — The NSF clearninghouse for middle school materials. Start with the Connected Math button.
Web Sites on Mathematics Education Philosophy
The Math Forum at Drexel — Many links to articles on mathematics education.
Constructivism and Education — a good historical overview
Problem Solving Web Sites
The Math Forum at Drexel: Problems of the Week | Famous Problems in the History of Mathematics — Problems of the week are in each of a variety of categories (including math fundamentals, pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus).
Figure This! Math Challenges for Families — Interactive mathematics miscellany and puzzles
Cut the Knot! Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles — A simply amazing page with hundreds of proofs, puzzles, and little facts for any mathematical ability.