Career Profile: Mathematics Teacher Education

Leticia Corral-Math high school teacher.

Leticia Corral-Math high school teacher.

Graciela Hernandez, Reporter

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So you want to be a math teacher.

Mathematics isn’t just about textbooks, it’s results have brought so much into the world. As a matter of fact “a math equation can explain why leopards have spots and tigers have stripes”.

WHO can do this? Someone who is good at working with people, must have a lot of patience and like to help children.
WHAT does it take? You need a minimum of bachelor degree. You must pass a basic proficiency test from the state and get your certification for your subject matter also from the state.
WHERE can you get it? Teachers must do student teaching for one semester-this is teaching without getting paid. You will get evaluated by your college teacher.
WHEN can you do it? It takes four years to be a practicing professional.
WHY should you do it? You work Monday-Friday 8 to 3:30, you get all the holidays paid, summers off, it is a decent paying job and you get health insurance. You help educate youth, chance to give back to the community and you can become a role model to young people. As a Latina, parents and students receive you as a good influence.
HOW much will you make? Starting pay is 42,960 up to 113,440.

Many private and public universities in Illinois offer a bachelor’s and associates degree in the Mathematics teacher education department. The least expensive tuition (including fees) seems to be at University of Illinois at Chicago for 25,926. However, they provide scholarships reducing the cost to 15,064. UIC provides a bachelors degree. Although, other universities to look at are Concordia and Saint Xavier who also offer scholarships in order for less tuition. While the overall tuition at Concordia is 41,012. In the end, the best option is to go to the University of Illinois at Chicago, with the least amount of tuition. Although I managed to ask questions to current Math High School teacher Leticia Corral.

Q: Do you know of any scholarships or rewards that they offer students for this career?

A: I am not aware of any scholarships at this time, I only deal with freshmen so I don’t have access to any of that information.

Q: Do you know of any internships or any ways i can gain experience as a high school student?

A: For my career field, not really, although one suggestion I do have for this career would be as a teacher: is work with kids, such as a day care or even a community center, just to see if you really want to deal with kids.

Q: What university/college did you go to?

A: I went to Morton College for two years because I was very undecided on what I wanted to do. I ended up at Chicago State University, it’s a local school, a state college. There I figured out I’m good in math, I love school, so why not become a professional nerd and teach math.

Q: What were the benefits of the university/college?

A: The benefits were that it was local, I didn’t have to leave my home but I wish I would’ve left, it was a benefit and a disadvantage because it was beneficial because I was still able to live at home, I didn’t have to spend as much money at school. It was a small enough school where my classes were about 25-30 people in a classroom maybe less. Once you majored into something, some classes became larger, went up to maybe 100 but once you knew your concentration like for math, my classes were smaller and it seemed like we were all on the same track, we always had the same students. Morton college is good because its a community college but you don’t get the experience of meeting new people until you go away.

Q: Did you like what the career provided for you in the end?

A: I really do like it, because I’ve always loved school, and I get summers off and cool holidays off, nobody gets Pulaski’s birthday, my sons catholic school doesn’t get Pulaski’s birthday but I do. So yes I do like the perks

Q: What helped you pursue a degree?

A: The love of math, and I met a person, I met a guy… I always knew I wanted to go into math, I wanted to do something with math because at first I wanted to go into accounting but then I asked myself do I really want to work with numbers all my life, well not numbers but I thought accounting would be too boring. I knew I had a certain direction, I took a course called career search, it’s like career cruising but I really liked it, it helped with what you’d be good for. it said accounting would be good for me and computer science and then it did mention math teacher. I just happened to meet my boyfriend at the time he was studying to be an ESL teacher and he asked me to go with him to Chicago State and that’s how I ended up over there because of a guy.

Q: Did you ever have doubts you weren’t gonna go to college?

A: I think I made a decision early on in my life where I said no matter what I don’t know what I’m going to do but I just knew I was going to go to college, I didn’t know how I was gonna pay for it, I didn’t have any role models. I was the first to graduate from high school, the first to go to college without the help of my parents at all. Back when I was a senior, Morton East was predominantly white, so all my friends were going to go to college and they would ask me, and I’d say i don’t know where I’m going but I know I’m going, I at least knew Morton College would be one way to start I didn’t want to just stop but I knew I was always going to do something and plus the fact that I was working at checkers for 5 years and I saw how stressful and how women were working there struggling to provide for their family, I knew I didn’t want to do that for my family, I didn’t know my family was there, you know my kids but I knew that I wanted¬† to prepare myself even before I knew I was going to get married, I know I want to finish my degree before I get married that was a goal, I don’t know what kind of life I’m going to have, its like I was preparing myself to be divorced, I’m very happy with the way my life has gone because I’m able to provide for my kids, I knew it wasn’t an option not to go to school. I chose math because I was good at it, good since second grade.

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