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New York Teacher

The UFT Teacher Center has been a leader in providing New York City public school educators with high-quality professional learning for more than 40 years. While facing the many challenges of the pandemic, the UFT Teacher Center has begun working with new partners to ensure that educators across the city get the training they need.

Public school educators urgently needed support in the effective use of instructional technology when schools went remote, and technology training continues to be a priority. Hence the UFT Teacher Center’s partnerships with Apple and Google.

In the spring of 2021, the UFT Teacher Center, in collaboration with Apple, offered more than 200 hours of free professional learning on using Apple technology to more than 20,000 participants. A recent grant from the City Council has enabled the UFT Teacher Center to have a full-time Apple professional learning specialist temporarily on staff to provide both hands-on training at Teacher Center sites at schools and free virtual training workshops on Apple technology this year.

The UFT Teacher Center is also planning to increase its collaboration with Google’s professional learning team. We are hoping to design opportunities for New York City public school educators to learn more about effectively using Google Classroom, Chromebooks and other tools with their students now that schools have returned to in-person learning.

We have heard from educators across the city about the social-emotional challenges facing students and their families. To support members in addressing these needs, the UFT Teacher Center has launched a partnership with the Goldie Hawn Foundation’s MindUP program. Developed by a team of experts for use by students, parents and educators, MindUP focuses on four pillars — neuroscience, social-emotional learning, positive psychology and mindful awareness. The program has been shown to increase positive social actions, decrease aggressive behaviors and improve academic achievement, especially in math and ELA. More than 150 participants joined Goldie Hawn and the MindUP team for two free training sessions in March and April, and more sessions are planned.

The UFT Teacher Center’s growing partnership with the City University of New York is giving UFT members an opportunity to continue their professional learning in higher education. In 2021, the UFT formed a partnership with the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies to offer a new series of cost-effective graduate courses for UFT members. The courses, designed specifically for New York City public school educators, give members the opportunity to earn graduate credits toward their next salary differential and Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) hours at the same time.

The UFT Teacher Center is also working in collaboration with CUNY to create a diverse teacher pipeline with the support of a three-year grant from New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). Grant funds are being used to support a Future Teachers Club at Curtis HS on Staten Island and to increase awareness about the affordable paths into the teaching profession offered through CUNY.

UFT members working in New York City public schools deserve opportunities for high quality professional development. We’ve gotten great feedback from educators who have participated in the various offerings that have emerged from our new partnerships, and we look forward to seeing more of you at upcoming sessions!