On the steps of an independent San Francisco school one late fall afternoon in 1999, two established, well respected educators engaged in a deep conversation around the education landscape and its most glaring needs. The lack of local opportunities for teachers and administrators to learn together quickly rose to the top of the list. After posing the question to one another, “If you could do anything to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the Bay Area, what would it be?” they discovered that their answers were identical: Find a way to provide educators with ongoing and interactive professional development opportunities on a regular basis. From that casual yet profound conversation, the Bay Area Teacher Development Collaborative (BATDC) was inspired and a plan to formalize the concept was launched.
Early support from the Heads of ten local independent schools yielded the BATDC advisory board, which helped define and shape the mission, vision, and goals of the organization. Within a month of the BATDC’s official announcement and introduction, over forty schools joined the Collaborative. Soon after, a board of trustees was formed, non-profit status was granted, and membership grew to fifty-eight Bay Area schools. As workshops, institutes, and on-going programs were delivered throughout the Bay Area, partnerships formed and professional development opportunities expanded in scope. After a decade of growth, development, and positive impact, word of mouth spread and demand for similar professional development opportunities outside the Bay Area became evident. In response, the BATDC began collaborating with schools in Southern California, offering several professional development programs in the Los Angeles area thanks to the early support of twenty-one LA schools. After three years of piloting established Bay Area programs in Los Angeles the BATDC officially changed their name to the California Teacher Development Collaborative (CATDC) and offers a full array of workshops and events in the LA area. Educators from outside Los Angeles and the Bay Area are also welcome to take part in programs of interest.