The State Department of Education created the Mathematical Thinking for Instruction (MTI) course as part of the Idaho Math Initiative to provide Idaho teachers and administrators with best practices and teaching strategies to help all students succeed in math. The MTI course was developed by a committee of educators working under the direction of the State Department of Education and Dr. Jonathan Brendefur, who manages the Developing Mathematical Thinking Institute (DMT) at Boise State University. To date, approximately 7,800 educators have completed the MTI course or are currently taking it.

All Idaho certified teachers and administrators can take the MTI course; however, the following are required to take the course for recertification by 2014:

  • Teachers holding an Early Childhood/Early Childhood Special Education Blended Certificate (Birth-Grade 3) who are employed in an elementary classroom (multi-subject classroom, K-8)
  • Teachers holding a Standard Elementary Certificate (K-8)
  • Teachers holding a Standard Secondary Certificate (6-12) teaching in a math content classroom (grade six through grade twelve) including Title I classrooms
  • Teachers holding a Standard Exceptional Child Certificate (K-12)
  • School administrators holding an Administrator Certificate (PreK-12)

In the past, teachers could earn three college credits for the completion of an MTI course. University credit, however, was discontinued due to reductions in the public schools budget. To minimize the impact that change has on teachers, the Students Come First reform laws have made it possible for Idaho teachers and administrators who successfully complete the MTI course to count this course as transcripted credit for funding purposes under the state salary grid and for certification renewal. As a result, for the purposes of moving up the state salary pay scale and certification renewal, a completed MTI course will now count as the equivalent of three transcripted college credits.

Local school districts are strongly encouraged to recognize the credits in their district salary schedules as well, but they cannot be required to do so under Idaho Code.

MTI courses are available in three different sections based on grade level: Grades K-3 focus on early number sense, grades 4-8 focus on rational number sense, and grades 6-12 focus on algebraic thinking. Teachers will be required to take only one of these courses by 2014 for recertification. Teachers and administrators have a choice of which class they take, but they are strongly encouraged to take the course that most closely matches their teaching assignment. To learn more about MTI and MTI follow-ups, see FAQ's and class schedules, or contact your regional specialist, follow this link:

Note: With the deadline for MTI completion drawing near, it is important that the courses being offered have a minimum number of 20 participants. Courses with fewer than 20 participants may be canceled and held at a location where the need is greater. If you are currently signed up for a course that has low registration numbers, please encourage colleagues who are still in need of the course for recertification to register and fill the available seats. Also, as time goes on and the number of educators/administrators who are in need of the course decreases, location options and flexibility will decrease, requiring participants to travel to a location where the course is being offered. Therefore, you may find it more convenient or beneficial to register and complete the course as soon as possible.