Professional Development

professional development

Professional Development

NYSUT has a strong commitment to meaningful and appropriate professional development for teachers throughout their careers. The union was instrumental in the passage of regulations that require school districts to provide professional development to teachers. NYSUT provides and supports a wide variety of resources to enhance the learning of new teachers. These resources are accessible through your local teachers union by contacting your building representative or union officers.

You can also find professional development resources online.

  • Master's Degrees through NYSUT Partnership Programs
  • Support of TED (Educator and Evaluator Academies)
  • Graduate or In-service Courses Through NYSUT
  • Programs for School-Related Professionals
  • Professional Development Seminars through NYSUT
  • NYS Teacher Centers
  • National Board Certification
  • NYSUT Subject Area Committees
  • NYSUT Department of Research and Educational Services

NYSUT Education & Learning Trust 
Master's Degree Partnership Programs

The NYSUT Education & Learning Trust (ELT) has partnered with accredited colleges and universities in New York to provide teachers access to quality programs at reasonable costs. These partnerships allow ELT to offer courses that feed into state-approved graduate programs in education and the liberal arts and sciences. Teachers may use these programs to fulfill the graduate degree requirement for professional certification. Contact ELT at 800-528-6208 or

Support of TED (Educator and Evaluator Academies)

The Education and Learning Trust is dedicated to support educators with their professional development needs. The Academies support teachers in the new APPR process.

Educator Academy

This Academy includes a series of modules, either taken independently as 3-hour seminars, or as a 15-hour two day training, for teaches seeking to proactively navigate the new teacher evaluation process. Training supports use of NYSUT’s Teacher Evaluation & Development System (TED) and/or NYSUT’s Teacher Practice Rubric.

Evaluator Academy

This intensive training, intended for administrators and teachers serving as peer evaluators in districts adopting NYSUT’s Teacher Practice Rubric, participants will develop skills to objectively evaluate and effectively communicate with practitioners in an unbiased way about their professional practice.

Graduate or in-service courses through NYSUT

NYSUT, through the Education & Learning Trust, provides its members access to professional development courses for either graduate or in-service credit. Courses address topics such as classroom management and discipline, literacy, special education and inclusive classrooms, and working with diverse learners. All courses are taught by practicing teachers specifically trained in these areas and are offered at affordable tuition rates. To register for a course, visit Contact ELT at 800-528-6208 or

Programs for School-Related Professionals (SRPs)

NYSUT, through the Education & Learning Trust, offers education and training opportunities for SRPs that can enhance their skills and knowledge and improve overall job performance. Workshop offerings include: ABC’s: An Introductory Guide to Being a Professional; Supporting Students with Autism; Managing Student Behavior; School Secretary: First Contact/First Impression; and Classroom Partners: The Team Approach.

Undergraduate courses are also available to help teaching assistants meet certification requirements. Contact ELT at 800-528-6208 or at

Professional development seminars through NYSUT

NYSUT, through the Education & Learning Trust, provides professional development seminars for its members. Several seminars, such as Classroom Management, are specifically designed for new teachers and are accessible by contacting the union building representative or union officers. These seminars can be delivered in any school across New York and can be used to fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements. Contact ELT at 800-528-6208 or

Department of Research and Educational Services

NYSUT’s Department of Research and Educational Services provides up-to-date critical information on educational issues, including certification. The department regularly conducts member phone surveys and publishes Fact Sheets on emerging educational issues from pre-K through post-grad. Research and Educational Services information can be found at the NYSUT website,, by clicking on the Research and Educational Services link. This NYSUT department sponsors statewide and regional meetings and conferences.

The department has added a Common Core resources page to its link. This page provides lessons aligned to the state Common Core Learning Standards. Each lesson has an accompanying video of the teacher explaining the process of developing, implementing and reflecting of writing a CCLS lesson. There are also two short videos of teachers implementing a lesson and their reflections.


Certification is a requirement for continued employment as a teacher or teaching assistant in a public school district or BOCES in New York state, and it is the member’s responsibility to maintain it. Certificates are issued by the State Education Department’s Office of Teaching Initiatives. If you have questions about certification in general, visit the Office of Teaching Initiatives website at If you have questions specific to your situation, log in to your TEACH account to check the status of your certificates. In managing your certification status, it is imperative that you keep your own records on all of your efforts to obtain and keep certification. If you happen to have certification issues that you cannot resolve, contact your local union leadership for support and assistance.

Problems with certification lead to problems with your employment.

NYS teacher centers

NYSUT strongly supports the network of teacher centers created through our legislative efforts and funded by New York state. Teacher centers provide high quality, research-based professional development programs and services for teachers that are developed and implemented by teachers. Each teacher center is governed by a policy board which includes a majority of teachers appointed by the union president. Teacher centers form partnerships with colleges, state and county agencies, local businesses, and numerous institutions and organizations to provide opportunities for new learning for teachers. Since 2011-12 the State Education Department has focused the work of teacher centers to align with current state and federal initiatives, including implementation of the Common Core State Standards, using data to inform instruction and implementing teacher evaluation systems. For more information on the statewide network of teacher centers and the programs they offer, go to

National Board Certification

Offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Board Certification calls for documentation of a candidate’s teaching practice and content knowledge over time as measured against high and rigorous standards. It is a way for teachers to deepen subject matter knowledge and become more skillful in daily classroom instruction and student assessment. The credentials attest “that a teacher has been assessed by his or her peers as one who is accomplished, makes sound professional judgments about student learning and acts effectively with those judgments.” The NYSUT Education & Learning Trust offers seminars and courses to assist members pursuing national certification.

National Board Certification is voluntary and complements, but does not replace, state licensing. Teachers with three (3) or more years of experience are eligible to apply. A National Board Certificate is valid for 10 years and is renewable. Currently the participation fee is $2,565, including a $65 non-refundable processing fee, but candidate fee subsidies are available through the NYS Albert Shanker Grant Program. At present, more than 200 NYSUT locals have negotiated incentives for participants and New York state’s National Board Certified Teachers. For more information, go to

NYSUT subject area committees

NYSUT established content area committees to assist the Board of Directors in developing policy regarding the New York State Learning Standards and Assessments as well as on the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards. To meet the needs of NYSUT constituents, these committees have been realigned to include English language learners; career and technical education; special education; early childhood; education technology; math, science and technology; social studies; ELA; languages other than English; health and physical education; family and consumer sciences; and the arts — music, dance, theater and visual arts. In addition to reviewing State Education Department documents pertaining to curriculum, instruction and assessments, the committees have developed, with the PTA, parent and families brochures on foreign language, health, physical education, and family and consumer sciences. Many of the committee members serve on various academic and assessment committees for the state, NYSUT, AFT and NEA.

Additional professional development resources

Members who help their local union in the areas of leadership, public relations, communications, finances, record-keeping, negotiations, contract enforcement, school restructuring and reform or data processing can take advantage of workshops and material from NYSUT on each of those topics. NYSUT also sponsors statewide conferences for members of constituent groups within the union, including community colleges, SRPs, BOCES, health care and retirees. The sessions focus on issues and concerns unique to each group.

On-the-job safety and health concerns such as indoor air pollution, asbestos hazards, toxic chemicals, and the importance of local safety and health committees are addressed in NYSUT seminars and literature. NYSUT also offers workshops and training programs that are of special interest to SRPs.

Your NYSUT labor relations specialist is the local union’s source for information about training on union topics and other workshops, including assertiveness training, conflict resolution and other subjects.

Our national affiliates, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), are sources of training and information. They make available to members videos and other materials on many topics and offer courses, workshops and conferences for members. This includes the AFT’s Educational Research and Dissemination (ER&D) training, a professional development program. Ask your local president if your local participates in these programs. If not, you can inquire about these offerings through your regional office or the AFT PSRP division at 800-238- 1133.

Be sure to check the NYSUT Web site ( for courses and workshops offered through the Education & Learning Trust.