Quest Center for Professional Learning and Teacher Leadership
Quest Center Vision
To strengthen teaching as a profession through professional development, teacher leadership, and advocacy.
Quest Center Mission
To 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.
Quest Center Philosophy
At the 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 research on teaching pedagogy and content knowledge says about what teachers should learn, know, and be able to do. Our professional learning offerings, and those of our university and community partners align to district and state requirements, and, most importantly, the needs of our teachers and their students. The Quest Center honors what members need and want, what makes teaching most effective, how our professional development can help members become better practitioners, and how our teacher leadership support programming can empower our members. 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 program design to meet their needs.
Quest Center Goals
The Quest Center serves as a city-wide catalyst for improving teaching and learning by implementing the following:
- 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.
- Providing programming (Professional Development and National Board Certification preparation) as part of a career continuum from initial hire throughout the course of an educator’s career to include preparation, structures, and supports for new teachers, veteran teachers, and teacher leaders.
- Enabling members to assume roles which extend beyond the classroom and connect to parents, communities, and other professionals to promote positive school reform.
- Establishing policies and practices in collaboration with partnering professional organizations and universities to provide continuous professional growth opportunities for our members.
- Bringing academic rigor and research to discussions of educational issues affecting our members and public schooling.
- Facilitating research-based meaningful professional learning opportunities that improve teacher quality, enhance paraprofessional development, and positively impact student achievement.
The CTUF Quest Center has been instrumental in supporting teachers and paraprofessionals in their development as educators for 30 years. Our work, offered year-round, is aligned to the Learning Forward Standards, the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Please visit our website (https://www.ctuf.org/questcenter/) for current offerings – to include courses, classes, workshops, webinars, seminars, retreats, study groups, institutes, speakers, conferences, coaching, mentoring, and boot camps.
The Quest Center offers Lane Placement credits for advancement on the Chicago Public Schools salary scale as well as Professional Development Hours for licensure renewal from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Some of our programming provides ISBE Endorsements, Master’s degrees in Teaching and Learning, and Instructors Apprenticeship accreditation.
The Quest Center partners with Chicago Public Schools in support of Consulting Teachers, Framework Specialists, Diversity, National Board Certification, and induction and mentoring of new teachers, among other initiatives.
We provide programming around Social Justice Issues, the CPS REACH Teacher Evaluation Framework for Teaching, Restorative Practices, Career Pathways, Trauma-Sensitive Pedagogy, Climate Justice, and National Board Certification. Our experienced professional staff participates in continuous development in both content and pedagogical areas. The Quest Center is Teachers Working for Teachers to improve the achievement of Chicago’s children.