COSAM News Articles 2023 January Change the life of a student by becoming a teacher in the state of Alabama

Change the life of a student by becoming a teacher in the state of Alabama

Published: 01/31/2023

Teaching mathematics can help change the lives of students in the state of Alabama.

If you are thinking about changing your career, this could be an opportunity where you can make a real difference as a teacher.

“In the classroom, one of the most satisfying experiences as a teacher is when you see a student start to realize how mathematics is relevant in their everyday lives,” said Hans-Werner van Wyk, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics who is involved in Auburn University’s DREAM-Math project, which seeks to provide training for STEM graduates interested in becoming secondary school teachers.

The rewards of mathematics are not always readily apparent to high-school students, but helping a student build a solid foundation in mathematics helps develop reasoning and quantitative skills that will positively impact the student for their entire life. “Being a math teacher gives you the ability to teach students how to approach problems systematically and apply a set of techniques that is relevant to any career,” said van Wyk.

Teachers can inspire students and leave lasting memories.

“What inspired me to go into the field of mathematics was its potential to describe our world quantitatively. Mathematics is the unifying language of science and engineering. As such, it provides an access point and a unique perspective on many natural and man-made systems.” 

People who are interested in changing their career, can greatly benefit from this program and help students solve bigger problems in society.

Mathematics and statistics play a central role in our efforts to predict and mitigate the impact of climate change, to develop responsible artificial intelligence systems, and to draw valid conclusions from evidence obtained through noisy data. “Being conversant in mathematics can help students understand and develop systematic frameworks within which to solve the big, modern problems in the world,” said van Wyk. “And math teachers are an essential part of inspiring tomorrow’s generation and equipping them with essential tools to address the challenges we face.”

Have you thought about the change you can make in the lives of future leaders as a teacher?

You can apply to the Developing, Recruiting and Empowering Alabama Mathematics Teachers, or DREAM-Math, project online through Feb. 28 for early admissions to the Summer 2023 Cohort.

In addition to being part of a National Science Foundation’s Noyce Scholarship program offering students a $35,000 scholarship to complete a full-time, four-semester master’s-level teaching certificate, participants can earn $10,000 for four years teaching in a high-needs school in the state.

This project is a collaboration between Auburn University’s College of Education and College of Sciences and Mathematics in partnership with Tuskegee University and other educational institutions throughout the state. 

Learn more about this opportunity at the program website or attend the special briefing at 4:30 p.m. on February 6, 2023 at AU Haley Center 2456 or online at and make a difference in the lives of students in the state of Alabama.

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