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 TEACHER CENTER of Broome County is a consortium of 10 public school districts, one BOCES and several private schools plus Broome County Head Start. We serve approximately 2,200+ educators. There are over 100 Teacher Centers operating throughout New York State. They are funded yearly by a grant appropriated by the New York state legislature and administrated by the New York state education department.
A Policy Board serves as the governing body of the TEACHER CENTER. It is comprised of at least 51% teachers, along with representatives from industry, parents, school administrators, public libraries, and higher education.
Teacher Centers have developed successful, cost effective programs that address the purposes prescribed in the statute. Their goals encompass the following areas:
- Assist educators in assessing and meeting the learning needs of students.
- Provide computer demonstration and training.
- Promote educators' use of and involvement in educational research to develop and produce curricula and curricular material.
- Provide educators with training for the improvement of teaching skills.
- Provide a location and atmosphere to foster sharing and increased understanding of resources, methods, approaches, information and materials among educators.
- Train educators to prepare students to use technology and to teach the critical thinking and related skills needed for the changing world community.
Centers provide a structure for teachers to take charge of their own professional growth, and afford them an opportunity to share with one another the great wealth of expertise that they possess. Approaches to delivering professional development include support for new teachers and substitute teachers, teacher study groups, online courses as well as a full complement of topics offered in more traditional workshop format.