How Do I Prepare to Teach in Secondary Education?

As a teacher, you can positively impact young people’s lives and help them achieve their full potential. If you are considering a career in teaching, there are several steps you can take to prepare yourself for success. 

How Do I Prepare to Teach in Secondary Education? 

Obtaining a degree in Education or a related field is essential. Enrolling in Florida National University’s Math STEM Education degree program is a great way to prepare to teach in Secondary Education. As a teacher, you will be responsible for helping your students meet their educational goals. 


As a teacher, you will work with students, parents, and other teachers regularly, and effective communication is essential for success. Good communication skills include active listening, clear and concise speaking, and adapting your communication style to different audiences. 

What is Secondary Education? 

Secondary Education covers middle or intermediate school and high school education. In the U.S., this includes grades 6 through 12. Subjects at secondary schools commonly include math, English, science, social science, and foreign languages. Secondary Education prepares students to seek higher education or enter the workforce. 

What is STEM? 

Stem stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It focuses on developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. 

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and evaluate information objectively, logically, and rationally. Someone with good critical thinking skills can gather reliable data, consider different solutions, and make the best and most informed decision. 

Problem Solving – identifying and analyzing the most effective solution to a complex problem. Someone with good crucial thinking skills can use logical thinking, critical reasoning, and creative problem-solving to identify the best solution. 

Analytical Skills – collection, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of information to make informed decisions. Someone who has good analytical skills can break down a complex issue into smaller, more manageable parts, systematically examining them. 

What Do I Learn During a Math STEM Education Degree Program? 

A Math STEM Education Degree program focuses on the subjects a student will need to teach in Secondary Education. This degree provides a solid foundation in educational theory and practice and the necessary skills to create effective lesson plans, manage a classroom, and assess student learning. 

General Education Courses 

As a Math STEM Education degree student, you will take many general education courses. They include:

English – the analysis of English composition and the fundamentals of oral communication. 

Humanities – the study of the human experience. These classes explore children’s literature and philosophy. Social Sciences – the study of human growth, development, and general psychology. 

Natural Science – the fundamental principles and process of the natural world. These classes focus on biology and earth science. 

Mathematics – solving equations and manipulating numbers with different methods and formulas. These classes focus on algebra, geometry, and statistics. 

Information Literacy – an introduction to information technology focused on the fundamentals of computer systems and technology. 

Core Requirements 

The Math STEM Education Degree program focuses on core requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree. 

Lower Division 

The first half of the core requirements prepare student teachers for foundational knowledge and skills that more advanced upper-division courses will supplement. These lower-division courses include: 

Technology in Education – prepares student teachers to incorporate technology in the classroom. In addition, they will learn about digital literacy and how to navigate online resources. 

Principles of Macroeconomics – an explanation of economic growth, inflation, unemployment, and government policy as it shapes the economic landscape. 

Intro to Education – a comprehensive overview of the education system, including educational philosophies and approaches shaping the student teacher’s role in the classroom. 

Classroom Management – the fundamentals of effectively managing a classroom through a positive learning environment. This class teaches how to create a structured classroom that promotes student engagement and participation. 

Teaching Diverse Populations – a focus on understanding cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic factors that can influence student learning in the classroom. This class teaches students how to create an inclusive and equitable learning environment. 

Intro to Engineering – an introduction to electrical, mechanical, civil, and chemical engineering and the roles engineers are responsible for.

Trigonometry – a focus on trigonometric functions, including sine, cosine, and tangent, and their relationship with angles of right triangles. 

Calculus and Analytic Geometry – calculus focuses on limits, derivatives, and integrals. Analytic geometry is the study of geometric figures using principles of algebra and calculus. 

Intro to Mathematics Education – the fundamental principles and theories of teaching Math to secondary education students. 

Intro to Differential Equations – understanding the basics of differential equations and their use in physics, engineering, and economics. 

Foundations of Science and Science Education – the teaching practices necessary for effective science education. This class focuses on the nature of science, scientific inquiry literacy, and the role of science in society. 

Upper Division 

After completing the general education and lower division core requirements, student teachers take more advanced upper division classes. These classes include: 

Organizational Behavior in Teaching and Learning Organizations – fundamentals of theories, principles, and practices that shape the behavior of those within an educational institution. 

Measurement and Evaluation in Education – are methods to assess and evaluate the effectiveness and quality of education. This class focuses on test administration, assessment tool development, and results interpretation. 

Administration & Leadership Communication Techniques – skills and techniques for effective communication in a leadership role as a teacher. 

Instructional Technology in Mathematics and Science – integrating technology into instructional practices to engage and motivate students. 

Methods of Teaching Mathematics – curriculum development, lesson planning, and assessment methods for mathematics education. 

Linear Algebra – fundamental concepts and techniques used to study vectors and matrices. 

History of Mathematics – a retrospective look into mathematical concepts’ origins, development, and contributions throughout history. 


In addition to general and core requirements, Math STEM Education students can pick elective classes that supplement their education and prepare them to teach secondary Education. These elective classes include: 

Anatomy and Physiology – the study of the human body structure and function. This class includes the 11 body systems. 

Web Programming – skills and techniques needed to create and design web applications. 

Networking Essentials – the fundamental concepts and principles of computer networks. 

Intro to Material Science and Engineering – exploration of structures and properties of materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. 

Intro to Environmental Science – the study of the environment and its conservation. 

Fundamentals of Physics – review concepts and principles of kinematics, forces, energy, momentum, and waves. 

Eager to Learn More? 

Did learning more about the Math STEM Education degree program interest you? It may be time to learn more about Florida National University. Ready to complete a Bachelor of Arts program today and start a new teaching career tomorrow? 

Math (STEM) Education, Bachelor of Arts 

The Math (STEM) Education Bachelor of Arts Degree is designed for students seeking a B.A. degree who want to work in the education field. The skills and knowledge students acquire in this program apply to educating students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Students enrolled in this program receive a solid foundation in the STEM fields and are prepared to teach in Secondary Education. Florida National University grants a Bachelor of Arts degree upon successful program completion. 

If you are interested in teaching STEM, let Florida National University answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to learn more about our STEM Education Degree programs.