The mission of the Richard Gazzola Teacher Center of Yonkers
is to meet the needs of teachers in an ever-changing society
and school system. Its program is designed to improve teacher
effectiveness in the classroom thus, increasing student learning.
This involves presenting specific content/strategies for classroom
use, providing general knowledge, developing an understanding
of Learning Standards and meeting outside needs that indirectly
affect classroom training.
The Center provides staff
development activities for approximately 2,300 teachers
employed by the Yonkers City School District and 500 from the
non-public schools who, in turn, serve over 32,000 students.
In addition to providing undergraduate, graduate and in-service
courses, the Teacher Center provides access to education data,
materials and research in order to enhance classroom performance.
The Center also provides teachers an opportunity to share ideas
and exchange information with their colleagues throughout the
district on an informal basis, through workshops and discussion
groups. The Center’s Peer Mentoring Program offers an
opportunity for classroom support and guidance for newly hired
teachers and teachers who request assistance. Monthly newsletters a
nd mailings to the schools are used to keep teachers informed
of available outside resources.
Board, made up of a
majority of teachers, with administrators, parent, business,
private school, and higher education institutions representatives
governs the Richard Gazzola Teacher Center of Yonkers.
Teacher Resource and Computer
Training Centers were established by the New York State Legislature
in 1984 to provide systematic, ongoing professional education
services to the State's teachers. The initial appropriation of
$3.5 million established 44 Teacher Centers throughout the
State. The 2002-2003 allocation of $31 million supports 126 Centers,
which serve some 660 public school districts and BOCES, as
as hundreds of non-public schools across all regions of the
State. More than 230,000 educators have access to Teacher Center
services. The benefits they derive are
passed on in the form of improved education for some 2,500,000
students across New York State.
Teacher Centers are unique in
their approach to providing professional development, since they
are governed by a policy board that is, by law, composed of at
least 51% teachers. Each Center provides services to its constituents
based on locally determined needs.
Teacher Centers have developed successful, cost effective, programs
that address the purposes prescribed in statute. Their goals
encompass the following areas:
- Assist educators in assessing and meeting the learning
needs of students
- Provide computer demonstration
and training sites and programs for educators
educators' use of and involvement in educational research
to develop and produce curricula and curricular material
educators with training for the improvement of teaching skills
a location and atmosphere to foster sharing and increased
understanding of resources, ideas, methods, approaches,
information and materials among educators
- Train educators
to prepare students to use high 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 new
teacher training and support, mentoring, peer coaching, collegial
circles, mini-grants, and research opportunities, as well as
a full complement of topics offered in more traditional workshop
or course formats.
Over the years, Teacher Centers have expanded both the scope
and depth of services offered, and have become educational service
centers. The entire educational community is encouraged to participate
in Center activities, and in many cases special programs are
offered for parents and other community groups. Teacher Centers
build collaboration across the public and private sectors, including
institutions of Higher Education and business and industry; leverage
State funds to increase resources available to local districts;
offer affordable training in technology and innovative teaching
practices; and maintain high standards of accountability in the
services they provide. They represent a unique infrastructure
that continues to contribute to the improvement of education
in New York State. For complete listing of New
York State Teacher Center Standards, click here. (pdf)
Visitors since 7/25/2004