Dial-A-Teacher

Dial-A-Teacher What: Homework help line for elementary and middle school students, run by classroom teachers

Hours: Monday—Thursday, 4—7 p.m.

Languages spoken: Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and Fukanese), English, French, Haitian-Creole, Russian, Slovak and Spanish

Download Dial-A-Teacher fliers in English and in Spanish

A Brief History

The Dial-A-Teacher program began in January of 1980. It was a pilot program in 17 schools in 8 districts. Five teachers were hired to field these questions with one teacher proficient in Spanish. Students throughout the city quickly began to use the program to get help with homework problems that stumped them. By 1986, the program expanded to include all elementary schools in the city through funding by the NYC City Council. The UFT provided a large space where the newly hired staff of 45 teachers could work. Hundreds of texts and reference materials were bought and Dial-A-Teacher was now a world-class source of help for all the elementary students in the city.

As word spread to students that there was a telephone number that they could call to get free help with homework, the number of calls climbed steadily. Students in middle school and high school who were using the Dial-A-Teacher program since the third grade continued to seek this help. Dial-A-Teacher began hiring experts in advanced math and science to field these calls from older students.

Key Staff

The director of the Dial-A-Teacher program is Anthony Harmon. Karen Butler-Brock is the coordinator who assists in the day-to-day administration of the program. The office telephone number is 212-598-9205. You can use this number to arrange for workshops, to order materials, to schedule classroom visits or to get general information about the program. If you need to speak to the director, call 212-510-6338.

New York Teacher articles on Dial-A-Teacher

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