Master Teacher Stacie Miller on stage at the NYS Opportunity Agenda.
About the Master Teacher Program

About the Master Teacher Program

What defines a Master Teacher?

There are three areas of ability and commitment to growth that are essential to successful participation in the Master Teacher community: content knowledge, pedagogy, and a deep understanding of students. Master Teachers are strong classroom teachers with clear goals for further developing their breadth and depth in all of these areas:

  1. Knowledge of content: Master Teachers have been exposed to and grappled with ideas that are central to their discipline at advanced levels. Like any STEM professionals, however, they view their knowledge as incomplete.
  2. Knowledge of pedagogy: Master Teachers have a deep understanding of professional knowledge for teaching, and strive to incorporate successful practices in their work. They continually evaluate, refine, and adapt their practice to better meet the needs of their students.
  3. Knowledge of students: Master Teachers possess a deep knowledge of their students’ neighborhoods, cultures, and values. Master Teachers see a student’s family and community as resources in their efforts to inspire them to study STEM disciplines.

“We want the best possible teachers in every New York classroom educating our children. As part of the state's work to transform our education system and put students first, we are committed to investing in great teachers to educate our students and create a highly-trained workforce to drive our future economy. This program will reward those teachers who work harder to make the difference and whose students perform better as a result.”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

What do Master Teachers do?

As program participants, Master Teachers make a commitment to engage in professional development (PD) work in addition to their regular school responsibilities. Master Teachers meet regularly (evenings and weekends) to participate in activities that lead to individual and collective professional growth.

PD programming opportunities include three-session mini-courses. Mini-courses have addressed student research and emerging STEM subjects such as climate change and hydro-fracturing. Master Teachers have formed Professional Learning Teams around topics such as student research projects, expeditionary learning, the flipped classroom, and the Common Core. Master Teachers participate in leadership workshops to better contribute to departmental discussions and mentor early career and pre-service teachers. Master Teachers also participate in the Empire State STEM Learning Network through regional STEM hubs, partnering with local businesses and agencies to better prepare students for STEM careers.

Program Scope

The NYS Master Teacher Program is hosted at ten sites across the state. These sites serve as the home base of each regional cohort’s activities and partner with other educational institutions and organizations in their region to provide a robust program tailored to the professional growth and development goals of the Master Teachers in the cohort. 

Who is eligible to apply?

Applicants must be:

Master Teacher Program
What is the Master Teacher Program?
What does being a Master Teacher Entail?
Master Teacher program participation requirements thumbnail