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Survey of Professional Learning Needs for the 2014-2015 School Year

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.

 Please CLICK HERE and take a few minutes to complete this survey to tell us what you need from us!


Current Professional Development Offerings

For more information contact Deborah Pazera at (312) 329-6271 or


To register, click on any of the links in the Professional Development Opportunities listed below


  2015 Workshops



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Individual Session - 3.5 ISBE Professional Development Hours

Entire Series - 1 Lane Placement Credit and/or 17.5 ISBE Professional Development Hours

This course addresses implementation of authentic, timely, and embedded technology use for all practicing K-8th grade classroom teachers.  Participants study current technology instruction and its communicative, collaborative, and creative aspects.  They analyze and create timely appropriate formative and summative assessment tools, and digital writing avenues and products. Attendees produce learning activities and assessments using embedded technology, analyze how to implement in a classroom setting, and reflect on their practice, instruction, and implementation of effective technology integration.  During these Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) sessions, teachers explore and plan the use of technology-based activities and multimedia in support of the Common Core State Standards and the CPS Framework for Teaching, Components: 1a, 1d, 1e, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3e, and 4d.

Time: 9:00 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.

Session1 – Multimedia Application - June 25, 2015

Session 2 – Digital Collaboration - June 26, 2015

Session 3 – Communicate Via Twitter - June 29, 2015

Session 4 – Tech-Based Assessment Practices - June 30, 2015

Session 5 – Authentic Writing In The Digital Age – July 1, 2015

Entires Series!


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Individual Session - 3.5 ISBE Professional Development Hours

Entire Series - 1 Lane Placement Credit and/or 21 ISBE Professional Development Hours

Participants dig deep into the language of Domain 3 with this 6 session learning series about observable instruction. They breakdown the components and elements of Domain 3 one at a time to learn what qualifies as evidence for REACH. Teachers learn what an evaluator is looking for, and listening for, as they observe instruction and discuss instructional practice during pre- and post-conferences.  Teachers learn how to engage students by setting a clear purpose for learning and aligning assessments to instruction. They find out how to incorporate levels of questioning in instruction and get their students to explain their thinking by implementing discussion techniques such as Socratic Seminar and ‘Fish Bowl’. Participants can use what they learn during each session the following day and determine its impact on instruction and student learning. CPS Lane Placement Credit participants are required to complete additional weekly assignments. This Learning Series is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching Components 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, & 4d. 


This Learning Series is open to all currently practicing Pre-K through 12th grade teachers.

Time: 5:00 – 8:30 PM

Session 1 - Domain 3 Breakdown - Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Session 2 - Component 1a: Communicating with Students   - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Session 3 - Component 1b: Questioning and Discussion - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Session 4 - Component 1c: Engaging Students - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Session 5 - Component 1d: Assessment in Instruction - Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Session 6 - Component 1e: Flexibility and Responsiveness - Wednesday, June 10, 2015


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This CPS Framework for Teaching Domain Colloquium offers CPS teachers the opportunity to learn more about each of the Domains through discussion, analysis, and collaboration with their colleagues. The instructor will guide participants through the process of ‘breaking down’ each Domain and determining what is considered ‘Distinguished level’ practice by evaluators during the observation cycle. Each 3.5 hour session provides participants with the opportunity to draft, design, and create artifacts, as well as a long term plan, for their professional development goals and the upcoming REACH evaluation cycle. Teachers are welcome to attend 1, 2, 3, or all 4 of the sessions. Each session is worth 3.5 ISBE PD Hours. Participants must be in attendance for the entire session in order to receive credits.

Please Click the below to register for each Colloquium.


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6.5 ISBE Professional Development Hours

Don’t miss out on this one-day overview that will help get you started right away!

Do you want to incorporate close reading of complex texts into your instruction but just don’t know how to begin? Join us for this full day professional learning experience about close reading and selecting appropriate texts for your teaching context. Learn how to get your students started with the close read process, how to select grade-level appropriate complex texts, and then, how to implement close reading as part of your regular instruction. Work with colleagues in your grade-level band and content area to design a close read lesson.

Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015

Time: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

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7 ISBE Professional Development Hours

This one day seminar is for all currently practicing CPS teachers to discuss and brainstorm best practices, skills, and implications of the CPS Frameworks for Teachers (FfT). Participants will unpack each component and critical attribute of their framework to understand what is required, what is valued, and what is scored by an evaluator. They will learn the skills necessary to perform at the 'Distinguished' level of the CPS FfT. Participants will create, organize, and begin to collect evidence for their observation cycle in preparation for formal evaluation pre­ and post-conferences. They will develop a professional learning goal and plan for the 2015-2016 school year to guide their own professional learning. Teachers will demonstrate reflective practice by writing and discussing strengths and weaknesses in their practice with grade band-alike colleagues, and learn how to use the information in the Critical Attributes and Addenda to advocate for their successes. Participants will also review and analyze materials and resources that are accessible on the CPS Knowledge Center for use in their own practice. Teachers will bring their latest evaluation feedback (or summative rating if available) to use as a tool when reflecting and discussing the FfT Criteria and Addenda. Research from Teachers College at Columbia University “Some Misconceptions People Tend to Have About Danielson FfT" will support be studied at this seminar. Instructor: Theresa Insalaco-DeCicco. There will be a 45 minute mid-session lunch break.

Date: July 25, 2015

Time: 9:30 A.M. – 5:15 P.M.

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15 ISBE Professional Development Hours

This course is designed to support 6th-12th grade teachers of math and science to integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) practices in their instruction. In this course, participants will analyze a model mathematics lesson to determine the commonalities among the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics standards of practice and apply them to project-based learning methodologies. This course will support teachers in developing S.T.E.M. proficient students who can answer complex questions, investigate global issues, and develop solutions for challenges and “real world” problems. This course is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching – Components 1a, 1d, 3c, and 4d. Instructors: Michael Moriarty, NBCT, Adolescence through Adulthood Mathematics, and Walter Taylor, NBCT, Early Adolescence Science. There will be a 30 minute mid-session lunch break.

Dates:  July 27th – 29th

Time: 9:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.



2nd Semester 2014-2015

Professional Learning Opportunities

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3 Lane Placement Credits- 45 ISBE Professional Development Hours

This course is designed to help K-12th grade classroom teachers develop instructional strategies that apply brain-based learning theories to engage all students. While brain research alone can't tell us how to teach children, understanding the brain leads to uncovering underlying learning mechanisms. This offering addresses eight neurodevelopmental constructs as the building blocks of learning: attention, temporal-sequential ordering, spatial ordering, memory, language, neuromotor functions, social cognition, and higher order cognition. This course investigates how emotions and stress play a role in the learning process, how the brain's maturation process affects learning, and how it adapts to changing circumstances when learning language(s} and mathematics. Using inquiry-based learning activities, participants will analyze brain-mind learning principles to guide their teaching practice. They will learn the characteristics and experiences that shape each unique learner's brain. Participants will learn practical brain compatible classroom techniques in order to differentiate their instruction and will develop and implement brain-based lesson plans, materials, and assessments to support multiple learning styles and modalities. This course is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching Components la, lb, ld, le, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, and 4d. Instructor: Michael Moriarty, NBCT.

Days/Dates: 7/12, 7/14, 7/15, 7/16, 7/17, 7/20, 7/21

Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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2 CPS Lane Placement Credits and/or 30 ISBE PD Hours

This course exposes teachers to the resources available for their classrooms at eight Chicagoland cultural institutions. Teachers will uncover the authentic uses of museums as sites for extended teaching and learning experiences. Participants create a culminating presentation highlighting their visits and the resources that will benefit their students. This course is aligned to the CPS Framework for Teaching: Components 3a, 3b,3c, 3d,and 4d. Instructor: Linda Comminos, Ed.D, NBCT.

Dates, Times, Locations

• July 6 & 17 from 3:30 to 6:30PM- CTU, 350 N. Wells, Chicago, IL 60654, 4th floor

• July 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, & 16 from 1:30 to 4:30PM- various museums whose locations will be distributed at the first session, July 6, 2015



Nurturing Teacher Leadership, established in 1997, is a two year program of weekly professional development and candidate support that prepares teachers for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. It includes:


  • small group facilitation
  • collaboration with a cohort of other CPS NBPTS candidates
  • technical support
  • mentoring
  • and more…


For further information on enrolling for National Board Certification for the 2015-17 cycle, please email or call Lynn Cherkasky-Davis at (312) 329-6274


Click here to view the latest CPS National Board Certification celebration pictures.





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Chicago Teachers Union