Professional development for charter school members

UFT, AFT offer workshops

Braman leads a a small breakout group of educators from New York French American Charter School and Academy of the City Charter School at a workshop at Amber Charter School last winter.

The UFT and its national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, have been sponsoring professional development workshops designed specifically for charter school educators.

The workshops, which began last fall and took place approximately once a month, covered topics such as addressing student behavior, differentiating instruction, and identifying ways that support students socially and emotionally to foster academic growth.

“It was great to bring these modules we developed for charter school educators up to New York,” said Valerie Braman, a veteran classroom teacher who works with the AFT Pennsylvania charter school project in Philadelphia. Braman led the project. “I find working with these educators inspiring. I’m constantly reminded how devoted teachers are to their craft.”

Jane Chien, a kindergarten teacher at the UFT-represented Bronx Academy of Promise, has attended each workshop. “I really felt like it validated my practice and helped me identify strategies I could bring back to my classroom,” Chien said. “It’s also a great opportunity to meet other charter educators and socialize and get out of ‘the teacher box.’” Chien added that the format of breaking into groups allowed the educators to “collaborate and engage in active learning.”