Teaching mathematics is a challenge, a responsibility, and an opportunity. Learning to teach mathematics occurs through a variety of means: the study of a wide variety of mathematics, pedagogical preparation within a mathematical context, formal clinical preparation in education, an extended internship, and continual experiences as a student, learner, and problem solver.
There is strong demand for elementary teachers with a strong background in mathematics, but there is an even greater need for quality mathematics teachers—teachers who care about both students and mathematics, teachers who have a broad and deep understanding of mathematics, and teachers who are thoroughly professional. The responsibilities are great, but the rewards are even greater.
As prospective math elementary teachers, Western students focus on expanding their personal understanding of mathematics and capitalizing on opportunities to work with pre-college students—as tutors, classroom assistants, practicum students, and novice teachers in an internship position. The Mathematics—Elementary major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in Elementary Education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in Elementary Education offered through Woodring College of Education.
Involved in both the mathematics and teaching community, math education students get the benefits of being a part of two colleges. Access to the Math Center, as well as a myriad of teaching resources, helps our students meet their maximum potential as both teachers and learners.
Beyond the Classroom
As students in the Mathematics—Elementary Education program, students have resources such as the Math Center staffed by undergraduate Math Fellows—a great place to get help with homework, meet other students, and form study groups.
Students in the Woodring program gain field experience as tutors, classroom assistants, practicum students, and as novice teachers in internship positions.
Careers and Graduate Studies
Students from the Mathematics—Elementary Education program generally go on to get jobs in both elementary and middle schools. In recent years, our graduates have been employed by school districts such as Bellingham, Kent, Tacoma, and Redmond.
- Elementary Teacher
- Middle School Teacher