August 24, 2023

Top 3 ELT picks for fall

Author: Molly Belmont
Source:  NYSUT Communications
teacher with students
Caption: Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

Educators are heading back to the classroom with tons of new tools – thanks in part to online courses from the NYSUT Education & Learning Trust, the union’s professional development arm.

ELT’s courses combine the latest research-based strategies with maximum flexibility so that all educators and school-related professionals can get the training they need to succeed this year. Looking to up your game? Here are some of our top picks for fall:

In “Creating an Equitable Grading System for All Students,” ELT Instructor Allyssa Graham, member of Moravia TA examines the historical purpose of the grading system and how it has been used to determine a student's academic potential. The course also discusses new grading methods that promote instead of punish. “The grading system was originally set up as a sorting mechanism that provided or denied opportunities to students. Students were tasked with meeting the needs of the industrial and economical world and schools needed a way to standardize student progress,” said Graham. “The traditional grading system sends confusing messages to students about their efforts.”

In “Learning First, Technology Second,” ELT Instructor Patricia Siano, member of Corinth Central Teachers Association, examines how the pandemic changed the way we use technology for education, and explains why in the aftermath of the shutdown, we must use technology more smartly and deliberately. “As we move forward to a new normal, our goal as educators is to take what we learned and create a technology rich, but balanced, learning environment,” said Siano. “How can we balance purposeful integration of technology with irreplaceable in-person learning?”

In “Creating Safer Schools,” ELT Instructor Franca Fiorentino, member of Bellmore Merrick United Secondary Teachers, Inc., covers everything related to student safety – from truancy and bullying to substance abuse and school shootings. She looks at root causes for these dangers and tries to educate teachers and other school personnel on ways they can help insulate their students. “It’s not that our schools are unsafe, it’s that students are more vulnerable than ever, and they have more access to everything,” Fiorentino said. “If a kid feels they have someone who knows them, someone who cares about them and can advocate for them, that can make all the difference.”

ELT coursework is offered year-round and can be used for undergraduate, graduate and in-service credit as well as to fulfill Continuing Teacher and Leader Education requirements. For more information, go to