If you are looking to work in the education field and you love math, why not combine your two passions and become a math resource specialist? A resource teacher is a professional with a specialization within a specific subject, and he or she may not only teach lessons, but also lead other students with learning disabilities as well as teachers in the mathematics department. It’s important to understand the role of the resource specialist within the mathematics scope and the education and training requirements necessary to pursue a career in this competitive industry. The following is a brief guide about math resource specialists that can help you to make an informed decision about your future career goals.
Job Duties of Resource Specialists
It’s no surprise that mathematics is one of the most difficult subjects for students in high school, middle school and elementary school. In addition, students diagnosed with learning disabilities that may negatively affect their ability to understand math techniques and concepts may require help from a resource teacher. This professional specializes in adapting teaching methods and lesson plans in order to help students grasp the fundamentals of mathematics.
Resource specialists are special education teachers who use software, interactive games, special aids, adaptive technology and other resources and equipment to either instruct students one-on-one or help other teachers learn how to assist students who are struggling. They may also coordinate Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) for students who need tutoring in order to succeed in their studies and coach other teachers in an effort to improve the school’s overall test scores.
Importance of Resource Specialists
The majority of teachers at the elementary and secondary levels are generalists who follow lesson plans to teach all of the core subjects. However, generalists may not possess the specialized, in-depth knowledge necessary to teach mathematics to students who are struggling to grasp traditional concepts and lessons. Studies indicate that resources specialists who teach mathematics offer coaching and support to generalist teachers that can dramatically increase test scores as well as how quickly students can transition from special education lessons to general lessons. Ultimately, resource specialists help not only students but other teachers as well.
Becoming a Math Resource Specialist
Once you understand the job duties of resource specialists and why it’s important for these professionals to work in education, consider what is involved in going from a generalist to a specialist. Much like public school teachers, you will need to have a teaching license or credential to work in the state in which you live. Most licensing organizations require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree in teaching, but some also require candidates to pursue a minimum of a master’s degree in special education with a concentration, emphasis or minor in mathematics. If you are seeking a special education license, which is required for a career as a resource specialist, a graduate degree is generally required, according to Teach.com.
Related Resource: What is a Reading Specialist?
Succeeding in special education requires a certain skillset and personality traits. If you feel that you have the knowledge and patience required to do well in the special education field centered solely around mathematics, now is the time to further your career. Once you accomplish this, you can reach your goals by helping children to understand complex math topics through a career as a math resource specialist.