University of Arizona
Institute for Mathematics and Education

Arizona Teacher Initiative

Math Specialist in Teacher Mentoring

What are the goals of the ATI program?

The goals of the ATI program are to increase the mathematical knowledge and leadership skills of middle school mathematics teachers, to increase the number of university faculty with the ability to support effective teacher preparation and professional development, and to create a corps of secondary-certified mathematics teachers who have the knowledge and skills to take leadership roles in their schools in the areas of mathematics teaching and teacher mentoring.


Who is a Math Specialist?

A Math Specialist is someone who is passionate about teaching and wants to further develop their mathematical knowledge, their teaching skills, and their ability to mentor and support the professional development of their fellow teachers. A Math Specialist must have a secondary teacher certification, and at least five years of teaching experience.


What does a Math Specialist do?


All Math Specialists are expected to:


  • Co-teach an integrated mathematics and pedagogy course for middle school teachers with a university faculty member

  • Teach an introductory-level course to college students, such as College Algebra

  • Participate in a weekly seminar on Mathematics Instruction

  • Attend two undergraduate-level mathematics courses (one per semester), including an analysis of course content and pedagogy

  • Make two presentations per semester - one as part of the weekly seminar on mathematics instruction and the other related to the analysis of the undergraduate level mathematics course

  • Participate in other project activities such as bi-weekly planning meetings, ATI project dinners, and the annual advisory board meeting

    Additional opportunities include:


  • Mentoring practicing teachers through the Center for Recruitment and Retention and other programs

  • Creating curriculum materials for use in mathematics teacher professional development

  • Sharing information about secondary teaching with future middle and high school teachers


  • What will you gain through the program?


    Math Specialists grow in their knowledge of mathematics and teaching, in their ability to mentor others, and in their professional relationships. Here is what some of our past and present Math Specialists say they particularly enjoy about the program.


    "I love having the opportunity to work with and observe teachers at different levels - middle school through university. I love the exchange of ideas. I am learning so many ideas and getting new techniques to take back to my own classroom." Mike Schmidt, ATI Math Specialist, 2008/2009


    "As a teacher, I am caught up in the specific content I am teaching and my students' needs. Through the ATI, I have the opportunity to think about the big picture - how the math fits together and how one idea is tied to another." Alyssa Keri, ATI Math Specialist, 2008/2009


    "It was great to have a year in a different work environment, to have the opportunity to teach teachers - working with adults is different from working with high school students. Also, I enjoyed having time to take a mathematics class!" Bruce MacMillan, ATI Math Specialist, 2007/2008


    How can I apply?


    Click here to apply for the ATI Math Specialist position.

    Contact Rebecca McGraw if you have questions about the program.


    Photos from the ATI

    Bruce MacMillan and Andrea Martin, ATI Math Specialists 2007/2008 Math Specialist Mike Schmidt's Smartboard presentation Bruce MacMillian in action!