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Professional Development is Union Work!

Celebrating its 24th anniversary in 2016, the Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center was launched with the assistance of a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  The CTU Quest Center has been instrumental in supporting teachers and paraprofessionals in their development as educators. Click here to see current Professional Development offerings from the Quest Center.

At the CTU Quest Center we lead by teaching and teach by leading.
We offer professional learning experiences, designed by teachers, and taught by teachers. We ensure the professional learning opportunities we provide our members reflect what current, up-to-date teaching pedagogy and content knowledge research says about what teachers should learn, know, and be able to do. Our professional learning offerings align to district and state requirements, and, most importantly, the needs of our students. The CTU Quest Center honors what members need and want, what makes teaching most effective, and how our professional development can help members become better practitioners. We take participant feedback seriously. Because the members we serve, and the students they teach, change and move in new and different directions, we too, adjust our practice, and professional development design to meet their needs.
CLICK HERE to tell us what professional learning experiences you need and want.

Strengthen the Chicago Teachers Union and teaching as a profession through professional development, research and advocacy.

Build and sustain a community of union professionals by providing continuous learning opportunities that enhance members’ knowledge and skills in Best Practices; foster effective advocates for school reform that is research based and beneficial to students; and nurture teacher leadership to improve student learning.

The CTU Quest Center serves as a city-wide catalyst for improving teaching and learning by implementing the following goals:

  1. Offering professional learning experiences which reflect the changing nature of teaching and learning, from instructor to guide/coach, and from a singular focus to an integration of ideas, content areas and learning strategies.
  2. Extending professional development as part of a career continuum from initial hire throughout the course of an educator’s career.
  3. Providing preparation, structures and supports for school-based, teacher-driven teams that collectively improve teaching and learning.
  4. Enabling members to assume roles which extend beyond the classroom and connect to parents, communities, and other professionals to promote positive school reform.
  5. Establishing policies and structures in collaboration with partnering organizations that provide continuous professional growth opportunities for members.  
  6. Bringing academic rigor and research to discussions of educational issues, including teacher evaluation, standards-based teaching, performance-based pay, turnaround and charter schools, alternative certification, overuse of standardized testing, pension and class size, among other pertinent issues affecting our members and public schooling.
  7. Publishing and disseminating research-based position papers on current issues.

What Quest Center Can Do For You

    1. Experienced staff facilitates research-based, job-embedded, meaningful professional learning that has the potential to positively impact student achievement.  Programming opportunities and topics include:

      Major Initiatives

      • National Board Certification 
      • New Teacher Institute
      • Common Core State Standards Support
      • Next Generation Science Standards Support
      • Framework for Teaching Study Groups
      • Consulting Teacher Initiatives
      • ISBE Relicensure Support
      • Lesson Study

      Professional Learning Topics

      Courses, classes, seminars, workshops, and study groups offered year-round, offer a variety of CPS Lane Placement, graduate, and/ or ISBE License Renewal professional development credit.

      • Addressing English Learners in the General Education Classroom
      • City as Resource: Using Museums and Other Cultural Institutions to Enhance Classroom Instruction
      • Classroom Management
      • Close Reading
      • Conflict Resolution
      • Constructing Brain Compatible Conditions for Learning
      • Critical Thinking
      • Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
      • Differentiated Instruction
      • Diversity, Equity, and Access
      • Engaging Students in Learning
      • Encouraging the Discouraged Learner
      • Family and Community Involvement
      • Feedback and Feed-forward
      • Formative Assessment
      • Foundations of Effective Instruction
      • Integrating the Arts
      • Increasing Rigor
      • Inquiry Based Learning
      • Labor History
      • Managing Anti-Social Behavior
      • Mathematical Reasoning
      • Carving Multiple Paths to Learning
      • Reflective Practice
      • Restorative Justice
      • Rubric Design
      • School-Home Connections
      • S.T.E.M. in the Elementary School
      • Struggling Adolescent Readers
      • Technology in the Classroom
      • Text Complexity
      • The Art of Questioning and Discussion
      • Writing Strategies, Techniques, and Methods

         2. Assistance integrating standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment into daily             practice.

Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite. 400, Chicago, IL  60654
Email: Deborah Pazera,

The CTU Quest Center values your input. Help us to determine the categories of professional learning opportunities that meet your professional development needs. We will analyze the data to determine the courses, workshops and study groups CTU membership would like the Quest Center to provide during this school year so we can plan accordingly.

For more information contact Theresa Insalaco-DeCicco at 312-329-6270 or

Thank you for your input!

Chicago Teachers Union