CTA IFT Mission Statement:
The CTA Institute for Teaching mission is to enhance, support and sustain high-quality teaching and high-quality public schools for all California students. Through mobilizing teachers, special programs, research, conferences, networking, and community-based coalitions, the CTA Institute for Teaching seeks to advance public education and promote the common good of our students and communities.
IFT helps all students and schools by awarding grants directly to CTA members and local chapters. To date, CTA members have funded 453 grant projects totaling more than $5.2 million. All CTA members are eligible to apply for an Educator grant (up to $5,000) or an Impact grant (up to $20,000).
Open application submissions from December 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
Awarded IFT Grants will be implemented in the 2022-2023 school year!
The Institute for Teaching (IFT) is attempting to bring a new approach to school change. Based on its’ work in California schools, with foundations and from discussions with hundreds of practitioners and students, the IFT has determined that school change must include two key factors:
- It needs to be teacher driven.
- It should be based on what is working and successful in our schools and classrooms.
By focusing on what works in our schools, the IFT believes strength-based models for school change add a new dimension to school improvement. Strength-based models provide an asset-based approach that teachers can use to emphasize talents over weaknesses and strengths over deficits to create a learning environment that supports and encourages every student to do their best.
In the beginning, the public education system involved people who dedicated themselves to their students in one-room schools or to small groups who met to learn how to read and write, how to reason and recite, and how to think and invent. Whether studying Aristotle or Plato, Latin or Greek—or how to plow a straight furrow or cook a simple meal—students came to school to seek new knowledge and new ways to live and work. They still do.
Today’s schools have grown beyond one-room schools to become large institutions. Sometimes they are overcrowded, often under-funded, but thousands of students and teachers are succeeding every day in learning, achieving and progressing. The relationship that matters most in our schools today is the same that existed in those one-room schoolhouses: the relationship between teachers and students.
The CTA Institute for Teaching exists to support that relationship, to bolster its influence and provide an environment where these nurtured relationships can foster meaningful learning. IFT inspires the efforts of teachers and stakeholders to hold open the door for learning to take place. IFT facilitates new ways to encourage teachers to work together with others in the community to hold the space for revitalization of public education and a renewal of its commitment to excellence, allowing each and every student to achieve their goals.
The Institute was formed in 1967 by the CTA Board of Directors and established as a foundation—a 501(c)(3) corporation—to assist public education in ways that CTA alone was unable to address. Since 2002, IFT has come under the umbrella of the CTA Foundation for Teaching and Learning, an independent nonprofit organization that supports CTA sponsored scholarships, awards, grants and disaster relief supporting teachers and students across California.
IFT discovered a new sense of optimism and accomplishment when teachers were empowered to describe and define what makes the teaching and learning process most successful. As a result, IFT is now helping chapters and members become experts on solutions, as they begin to change policy at the local level.
The CTA Institute for Teaching is dedicated to supporting strength-based teaching and learning. Central to this is an equity-based model for teaching-driven change and professional learning. Teachers are extremely valuable to educating our students, increasing the quality of our schools, and advancing our public educational system. The IFT is dedicated to supporting educators in developing, leading, and implementing quality programs and initiatives in their schools, districts, and school communities.
The $5,000-$20,000 strength-based grants are designed for PK – 12 teachers and certificated support staff, ESP members and college instructors. Proposals are reviewed through the lens of IFT’s strength-based equity matrix by an IFT Grant Selection committee composed of outstanding teachers. To date, CTA members have funded 453 grants totaling over $5.2 million.
IFT has organized a diverse set of CTA members to be part of IFT’s Regional Teacher Think Tanks. These Teacher Think Tanks bring the voice of CTA members who are excellent classroom practitioners and passionate about sharing innovative ideas and building upon what works.
Given the COVID-19 safety precautions, this event is not occurring in 2022.
The Expo, presented as part of the pre-Good Teaching Conferences, is a showcase of exemplary IFT Grants. Grantees present their strength-based projects from a wide variety of grade levels, geographic areas, size and student demographics. The Expo provides an opportunity for educators to share projects and practices, engage with fellow educators, and build their capacity to innovate.
IFT supports home visits to build strong home-to-school connections between parents and teachers. IFT supports the Parent-Teacher Home Visit project towards increasing positive student-teacher-parent outcomes. Families, teachers, and students benefit when strong relations are built across the school and home environments, leading to a higher potential of increasing student success.
- Harnessing the Power of What Works
- CTA IFT Culture of Success
- Strength-Based Equity Matrix
- Strength-Based Equity Primer
- Teacher Driven Strength-Based Change
- Strength-Based Learning During IFT Think Tank Gathering
- CTA Board member moved by IFT’s greenhouse grant
- Fontana Students Build Robots And More With CTA-IFT Grant
- CTA IFT Grant Helps Plant High School Greenhouse
- Community College Member’s Oral History Project Receives IFT Grant
- 4th-Graders Separated by 225 Miles Collaborate Through IFT Grant
IFT Board of Directors and Staff Support
E. Toby Boyd, CTA President
David B. Goldberg, CTA Vice President
Leslie S. Littman, CTA Secretary—Treasurer
Erika Jones, CTA Board Member, Directorial District J
Mike Patterson, CTA Board Member, Directorial District D
Jayson Chang, IFT Board Member
Dr. Al Rabanera, IFT Board Member
Jess Sanchez, IFT Board Member
Angela Stegall, IFT Board Member
Jennifer Villaryo, IFT Board Member
Marisa Cooper, IFT Board Member
Glen Price, IFT Board Member
Joe Boyd, CTA Executive Director
Wei Pan, Associate Executive Director – Controller’s Office
Becky Zoglman, Associate Executive Director – Training, Information & Development
Anna Dilig, Manager – Accounting
Dr. Norma Sanchez, Manager – Instruction & Professional Development/Institute for Teaching
Dr. Stacy Begin, CSO Liaison/CTA Staff
BoMee Musetti, IFT Program Specialist
Talia Benson, Region 2 Field Services Specialist
Contact IFT: firstname.lastname@example.org