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Questions about teaching 7th grade math


Junior Member
Hello. I recently completed my teaching degree in K-8 certification. I completed my student teaching in 2nd grade and have recently started subbing focusing on 2-5 grades.

Recently on one of my sub gigs, I met a teacher at the school that I was subbing at who taught 7th/ 8th grade math. She told me that the district was offering a 1K bonus for teacher who brought in qualified applicants to teach math in 7/8 grade. She said if I jumped on board she would share half.

My question is what does it take to teach 7th grade math. Math has always been my best subjects and I am very good at doing math in my head. Since I haven't had to do algebra or geometry in years, I feel like I'm a little out of touch.

If I was teaching consumer style math, I would definately jump at it.

So, how does someone get back into the swing of things?
Does the school district tutor the teachers in the areas that they will teach?
Is it all about just putting an overhead slide on the projector and walking the students thru the practice problems?
Looking like a fool in front of 6-10 years olds doesn't hurt my ego. Looking like a fool in front of teens could be a big blow.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Phoenix, AZ

Miss C

Senior Member
Never thought I could, but....

Hi Zigzagzee~
Math has NEVER been my strong suit, so when a middle school position opened up, I was very nervous about math. To make matters more interesting, this school, for various reasons that are too complex to go into now, teaches math one grade up. So my 6th graders (I teach self-contained 6th) are taking 7th grade math. I didn't know how it would go, but it's really not bad. Sometimes I have to study a bit before school, but never too long. Fortunately, my principal is a math guy, so the two times I've been unable to figure something out, he's helped me, and it's not taken much time. Anyway, I definitely think you can do it. If I can, ANYBODY can! GO FOR IT! :)


Junior Member
One vote yes

Miss C

Are you an overhead person or a problem on the dry erase board kinda person. Any other thoughts are appreciated.



Senior Member
My experience

Hello. I teach 7th and 8th grade math now, and it was my WORST subject straight through high school! Some of the concepts I teach now I don't even remember ever learning. I had to review prior to every lesson during my first year, but now I feel alot more confident. I actually like math (for the first time in my life), and I really enjoy teaching it. I remember watching a lady on TV years ago that said she hated math in school, and she was teaching math and never expected to. At the time, I thought, oh, that's not me, I'll never teach math; ha, ha, the laugh's on me! DON'T think you're not qualified; at least you enjoyed the subject in school, so you're starting off with more confidence than I had. As long as you practice problems before teaching them, you won't look like a fool. It's also OK to sometimes let the kids see you working out a problem, or even (gasp!) making a mistake, because they can relate.....
Math doesn't always have to be overheads, either. I use alot of technology in my classes, and manipulatives, too. Students can work in groups as well as independently to solve problems. And trust me, middle school kids are really great, despite their reputation.
I think if you're interested, you should go for it!


No Child Left Behind-Highly Qualified Status

Whoa, folks. If you teach in a public school in this country, you MUST have a highly qualified status to teach math in 7th and 8th grade starting in a few months!! Our district has been going crazy getting everyone certified in the area we have been teaching in. We have math teachers who have minors in a subject, have been teaching it expertly for 10-15 years, and have been informed that since they did not MAJOR in the area, they are not qualified to teach that subject come Aug. 2006.
If you do not have the major or master's degree in that area, you can get high qualified if you take the math test for either elementary or secondary, depending on your grade level, or you can put together a portfolio--a project that has many components to it. Our two sixth grade math teachers have been teaching math for 15 years, both have minors in it, and both are excellent teachers. They are scrambling putting together a portfolio so they can keep their jobs. This highly qualified status will also spread over to subs if they do a long term position, not the day to day jobs. I want to know where in the world some schools will find a sub that is highly qualified in chemistry, or physics, etc. If they are highly qualified in that area, they sure aren't subbing and living on that salary!! FYI: It doesn't matter what your teaching certificate reads, it's your MAJOR that gives you the highly qualified status.


Senior Member

I should have mentioned that I passed ther necessary test in my state to become highly qualified. I didn't need to major in math, passing the test was another option. You're absolutely right, zzz will need to become highly qualified in her state before she can teach at the middle school level. But it may not be that complicated; reviewing a middle school math text is all I needed to do to pass the Praxis.


Junior Member
Teaching Math

I am under the impression that Highly Qualified Status is determined by each school district. There are so many interpretations of the NCLB requirements. I would definately check with the school district to verify requirements. In my county, the Prixis II in the subject will meet qualifications, have a major in the subject, or take 1 college level course that one has never taken before. Before "jumping in" I would be sure to verify what your county requires.


Senior Member

I added licenses in Math and Science Middle School too(6-8). I had to have enough graduate credits and prepare a project for both subjects to be considered highly qualified. Teaching Math is NOT about putting practice problems on an overhead and walking students through the problems.


Not that bad...

I teach 6th and 7th grade math and at first I was nervous going into it (I taught computer skills previously and student taught 3rd grade), but it is really very basic and as long as you stay ahead of the kids. You'll be fine.

I always write out the class notes that I want my kids to take and I also make a lot of examples myself instead of the ones in the book so I'm learning as well. I also will use various math websites for basics AND to find other ways to solve problems (bc there is always that kid who asks if you can do something a certain way).

The one big issue that you will run into is getting kids to show all of their work. If they are used to doing math in their head, they will struggle with writing it all down. BUT since math is a process based subject, they need to write it down (especially when there is partial credit given for answers). These are all behaviors they will use in Algebra.

Good Luck!


New Member
psychology major looking to become teacher

I am looking for some advice. I graduated with a bachelors in psychology and took me 2 years to finally realize that I want to teach 7th grade math. Currently I am a special needs tutor for middle school students. My question is, what is the best way to get my teachers license? I am already signed up for the middle school math mtel in July. Suggestions for how to prep?? Additionally, I know I have to get my masters. Currently I am taking a discrete math course at grad school, however, since I have not taken a math course in 6 years, this is beyond difficult. Soo, my question is, there is a way to get a masters in a different program? The requirements to get a masters in math have nothing to do with what is being taught in 7th grade. I looked into getting a masters in elementary education but am not sure if that would give me the qualifications necessary. Enough of me rambling. Help!