Professional Development

NYSUT is committed to meaningful and appropriate professional development for members throughout their careers. NYSUT provides and supports a wide variety of resources to enhance your professional learning:

NYSUT Education & Learning Trust

NYSUT ELT - Education and Learning TrustThe NYSUT Education & Learning Trust (ELT) is the professional learning source for NYSUT members. The ELT offers courses, seminars and educational programs for teachers and School-Related Professionals across the state for professional growth, to meet certification requirements and to obtain new certificate titles or extensions. ELT’s courses may also help you earn salary differentials, depending on your district contract.

Ninety percent of individuals who have completed an ELT course or seminar rank them among the best they have ever had. ELT programs are modeled on best practices, current research-based strategies and real-life applications. They are taught by current educators and offered in your own district, a teacher center site, a nearby school or online.

NYSUT ELT offers:

  • Graduate and in-service courses. Courses address topics such as classroom management and discipline, literacy, special education and inclusive classrooms and working with diverse learners;
  • Partnership programs with colleges that lead to master’s degrees;
  • Undergraduate courses, seminars and test preparation programs to help teaching assistants earn degrees and meet state certification requirements;
  • Free courses for new members;
  • SRP seminars for members who provide instructional support, transportation, secretarial, custodial, medical and security services for schools. Workshops 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.
  • Online learning;
  • A variety of programs that meet Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) state requirements; 15
  • Annual Professional Performance Review programs to help prepare teachers to proactively navigate the teacher evaluation process, including evidence presentation and implementing the NYS Learning Standards;
  • Training for administrators and teachers implementing the Teacher Evaluation and Development system and NYSUT Teacher Practice Rubric;
  • Mentor and coaching training. For more information or to register for a course, visit 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. 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 resources link. The department oversees committee work and sponsors statewide and regional meetings and conferences.

The department offers a NYS Learning Standards resources page with lesson plans and accompanying videos. Teachers demonstrate how to incorporate instructional shifts into their practice, describing what has worked as well as the challenges.

Resources to support the needs of English Language Learners

The NYSUT Statewide English Language Learner Committee has developed resources to assist educators working with ELLS, which can be viewed at

member guide


Certification is a requirement for continued employment as a teacher or teaching assistant in a public school district or BOCES in New York, 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. Members can also access regional certification specialists at most of the BOCES across the state. Go to

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 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.

Members can access NYSUT Fact Sheets on specific certification topics at These Fact Sheets use everyday language to explain state regulatory requirements and address the most often-asked questions from members regarding state certification.

Maintaining Teacher Certification — Registering with SED

Beginning July 1, 2016, all permanently, or professionally certified teachers or educational leaders and Level III teaching assistant certificate holders working in a NYS public school or BOCES are required to register with SED’s TEACH system. In 2016-17, individuals can register at any time yet SED has asked for individuals to register in the month of their birth to limit the stress on the TEACH system. Registration with SED is required every five years for certificate holders who continue to work in NYS public schools or BOCES. There is no fee for registration and during 2016-17 SED will not be implementing a late fee for individuals who register after their birth month.

Professionally certified classroom teachers/educational leaders and Level III Teaching Assistants are required to complete CTLE hours during each five-year registration period.

While school districts and BOCES are required to report CTLE hours to SED for employees who work more than 90 days in a school year, the new regulations also require certificate holders to maintain a complete record that includes: the title of the program, total hours completed, number of hours targeting the needs of ELLs, the providing sponsor’s name (district, BOCES, teacher center, etc), attendance verification, and date/location of program. These records are to be kept for three years after the five-year cycle in which they were applied. While members were always advised to keep their own records, now you are required to do so.

See for additional information.

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 that 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 educators. 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

Created by teachers, for teachers, National Board Certification is recognized as the profession’s national mark of accomplished teaching. In 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Board was created as an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental body with a majority of teacher members. It is a voluntary, rigorous, peer-reviewed process for certifying educators in 25 certificate areas. The National Board application process consists of four components: Content Knowledge; Differentiation in Instruction; Teaching Practice and Learning Environment; and Effective and Reflective Practitioner. Components can be completed in a year or over three years, along with three portfolio entries (submitted online) and one computer-based assessment (administered at a local testing center). The NYS Albert Shanker Grant Program, named after the legendary union leader who first suggested the idea of National Board Certification, covers the entire $1,900 fee for all 4 components. The program also provides up to $500 per candidate to districts for supportive activities. Funding for the Shanker Grant is limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Currently there are more than 1,780 NBCTs in NYS. More than 300 locals have negotiated financial and support incentives for teachers to seek National Board Certification.

NYSUT supports teachers pursuing National Board Certification by providing funding opportunities for New York State Teacher Centers to support a National Board Certification Writing Institute. NYSUT Education & Learning Trust offers seminars and courses to assist members pursuing national certification. NYSUT ELT offers three graduate credits through Empire State College for each completed component. NYSUT also advocates with the state Legislature and governor for continued funding for Shanker grants.

For more information, go to

The National Board Council of New York State is a network of NBCT’s; offers workshops, cohort, summer institutes and other activities in support of candidates. You may also contact the National Board at or 1-800-22TEACH (800-228-3224).

NYSUT subject area committees

member guideNYSUT 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 family 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, 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. 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.

Share My Lesson, developed for teachers by teachers, is a site where educators create and share their work. The platform also provides an online community for collaboration. Topics include all aspects of the Common Core Learning Standards, as well as advice and guides. Share My Lesson was developed by the American Federation of Teachers and TES Connect, the largest network of teachers in the world. See


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