During the mid-1970’s, Al Shanker (president of the American Federation of Teachers and United Federation of Teachers) had an opportunity to travel to England to learn about their concept and operation of teacher centers. He returned to the United States enthusiastic about their possibilities. The AFT and NEA promoted the idea, and in 1978 the Federal Government developed a competitive grant program to create teacher centers across the country. Approximately 20 Teacher Centers were established in New York State. Federal regulations developed during that time, established control of the planning and management of the programs with practicing classroom teachers.
Federal funding was eliminated in 1982 and most centers had to close their doors. Some, including several in New York State, managed to keep operating on a more limited basis with allocations from the schools they served.
In 1984, thanks to the lobbying efforts of NYSUT, Teacher Resource and Computer Training Centers were established and funded by the New York State Legislature under Education Law 316. This law called for the provision of systematic, ongoing professional education services to New York State teachers. The enabling legislation introduced an innovative approach to staff development across the state, and created a unique relationship between teacher centers and schools.
There were 44 Centers that opened that first year. Today, the New York State Teacher Center Network is a vibrant collaborative organization of more than 125 teacher centers, 7 regional networks, 5 standing committees and 3 statewide projects working to meet the current needs of our educators.
In October 2016, Eric Jensen, former teacher and educational leader and author of 29 books visited Rochester for an engaging, fast-moving, results-oriented program during which he taught more than 240 educators in our network to differentiate their teaching and school environment in ways that successfully reach students of poverty. The Greater Rochester Teacher Center Network […]