New Educators

Joining the Chicago Teachers Union connects you with a proud legacy of advocating for educators’ rights and standard of living and for our students, their families and the promise of public education.

Sign Your Card!

Illinois is now “right to work for less.” Beat the anti-union attack. Join CTU!

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Mentoring and Coaching

With the We Care Program for New Teachers and Clinicians, educators new to CPS can get a stipend while being mentored by two experienced CPS educators. Learn more and sign up now!

What is the CTU?

Since 1937 the Chicago Teachers Union has been the voice for professionals who are employed in Chicago Public Schools, including educators at more than a dozen charter school networks. We are one of America’s leading labor unions representing more than 25,000 teachers, clinicians, and paraprofessionals working in CPS and, by extension, the students and families they serve. CTU, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Chicago Federation of Labor and the AFL-CIO is the third largest education union local in the country and the largest in Illinois.

What does CTU do?

We organize, we protect and we defend public education in Chicago. We have an organization that represents us democratically. Our Union staff supports members when they need protection from arbitrary and unjust actions by administrators. And, collectively, our Union puts the needs of CPS educators and of the students and families we serve at the forefront as we challenge the people who wield power in Chicago to meet those needs. When we speak and act collectively, we have a powerful voice in our workplaces, our communities, and in Springfield, to affect change.

We Care Program for New Teachers and Clinicians

For teachers and clinicians in their first, second and third years at CPS— especially new educators of color—there are so many pressures and pitfalls to navigate. No wonder CPS has lost so many teachers of color over the past twenty years. The CTU is determined to build connections that ensure newer clinicians and teachers in their first, second and third years find success.

The We Care Program provides every mentee with two experienced professionals to support you. You’ll have a Virtual Instructional Coach to support you with curriculum development, classroom management, pedagogy, IEP’s, and other issues specific to your subject, grade, and area of expertise. You’ll also have an In-Building Mentor to help you navigate the culture and climate of your school and the wider community. And for participating, new educators also earn Professional Development Units and a $500 stipend.

Go to the We Care page to get more information and apply.

Why should I join the CTU?

Are you new to CPS? It’s a large bureaucracy that chews up and spits out many educators. Being a member of the CTU means you’re not alone. Our union represents educators and support staff at every single public school operated by the district as well as 35 unionized charter schools. Our unity and collective strength help us advocate and win for important professional issues like class size, teaching and learning conditions. You can join the CTU right now with our online membership card.

CTU’s Vision for Chicago vs. the One Percent

Elites prioritize their vision of Chicago as a ”global city”, built around finance, technology, law, management, and incidentally, tourism. Because of these priorities, the disparities between wealth and poverty in the city are stark. They are also racialized, as the poor are more likely to be African American or Latinx. Working class people are segregated and pushed out of the city. This explains why schools don’t have money for libraries and clinicians but the city can offer wealthy corporations millions in tax breaks to move to Chicago.

CTU’s vision is for a city where working people can make a living, have decent health care, be able to afford a place to live, and send their children to good public schools. This is a package deal. Conditions in schools don’t improve if living conditions for our students and their families don’t improve. This is why CTU is committed to fighting for affordable housing, living-wage jobs, and racial justice, as part of the fight for the schools our students deserve.

For public schools to thrive they must be properly staffed with a full allotment of teachers, paraprofessionals, librarians, clinicians such as nurses, social workers and school psychologists, and more. CTU is committed to fighting for progressive revenue to fund these positions.

Resources for New Educators

Donors Choose

Teachers across the country use Donors Choose to request funds for materials, events and opportunities that should be paid for by the district, but are not. This is an invaluable resource.

Teachers Pay Teachers

If you search the internet for worksheets and other materials, you’ll find lots of stuff, but Teachers Pay Teachers is a winner on two counts: (1) You know the materials are tried and tested before they get posted on the web and (2) For a relatively low price, you can show your appreciation financially to the very teacher that created the materials. Truly a win-win.

Share My Lesson

This award-winning, union-developed lesson sharing site provides high-quality lessons on virtually every topic, carefully curated and presented in an organized, consistent fashion. When the American Federation of Teachers launched this site, they knew exactly who should lead it: our members.

Track your licensure

The Illinois State Board of Education provides the ELIS system to track the status of your license, endorsements and other credentials and it is where you upload professional learning units to maintain your license. Log in and learn your Illinois Educator Identity Number (IEIN), which you will need to provide in many situations.

Your contract

Union educators at every district-run and every union-represented charter school in this city have a collectively bargained agreement that establishes legally binding ground rules for your pay and working conditions. Union staff, such as your field representative, will support you in enforcing your rights under the contract and the law.
Find your field rep
Read your contract

What is REACH? The fundamentals of CPS evaluation

Evaluation should be an opportunity to get feedback on your work so you can grow professionally, but too often it seems like a game of “gotcha” with administrators. Learn what you should expect in your evaluations and how to protect yourself if evaluators do it wrong with this introductory guide to CPS’ REACH evaluation system.

Sign Your Card!

Illinois is now “right to work for less.” Beat the anti-union attack. Join CTU!

Sign Now

Mentoring and Coaching

With the We Care Program for New Teachers and Clinicians, educators new to CPS can get a stipend while being mentored by two experienced CPS educators. Learn more and sign up now!

CTU Member Handbook

Sign Your Card!

Illinois is now “right to work for less.” Beat the anti-union attack. Join CTU!

Sign Now

Join a Committee

CTU committees are a great way for any member to make a difference. Join one now!

Learn More