UPI Teacher Professional Development Day

Educators across subject matters who want to incorporate visual storytelling into their curriculum are invited to participate in a free one-day professional development workshop. The workshop blends together teaching demonstrations and artist talks, and culminates in a hands-on lesson planning session in collaboration with a photographer. We explore strategies to teach photography across disciplines such as language arts, social studies, literacy and critical thinking.


Practice tools for using photography in the classroom
Learn strategies to use photography for students to practice literacy, analysis, and critical thinking skills.

Collaborate with photographers and journalists
Work directly with the photographer to develop documentary photo-based lesson plans, featuring UPI & Photoville exhibitions.

Network with teachers across disciplines
Brainstorm and collaborate with teachers across the city and across disciplines. Enjoy a meal and happy hour with your colleagues!


Our pilot PD Day in October 2017 featured Photoville exhibitions Contact High, Finding Home, Living in the City, Newest Americans, and ReSisters: Behind the Scenes of the Women’s March. A lesson plan for each exhibition can be downloaded from the Teacher Resources page. The Professional Development Day initiative is produced by United Photo Industries, in partnership with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.



Here’s what participants have said:

“We saw people who were doing thrilling work outside the classroom, but it only made me more excited to go back to my classroom because I feel that connection and it feels like a more authentic way to bridge that gap than probably anything I’ve ever done before.”
— Anna Knutson, MS 839


“I’m a social worker in a special ed school, using a lot of creative stuff to do social and emotional work. It’s often me doing my own thing. This is exactly the environment of people doing the things that I want to do.”
— Carla Rice, The New LIFE School


“I feel it’s so incredible that the work that I’ve done has just been turned into a workshop for middle school and high school kids. That’s everything I ever do my work for. If we are not teaching our youth to stand up for their own rights, and the rights of marginalized people around them, then this work is for naught. So to watch teachers do their thing with my work, it was so impressive to see this lesson come to fruition.”
— Kisha Bari, Photographer, ReSisters: Behind the Scenes of the Women’s March

Upcoming Workshop:

Spring 2018 Teacher PD Day

April 26, 2018

10AM – 5PM

The session theme is Documenting Your Community, exploring the people, places, and stories around us. Through five photographers who have their lens on their community, we will explore documentary projects that teach students to be investigators, historians, and storytellers of the city around them.

Featured projects include Abuelas by Cinthya Santos Briones, Block Party by Anderson Zaca, Documenting Detroit with Alan Chin, Jua Kali by Tahir Carl Karmali, Kin by Emily Schiffer, The Everyday Projects and Visual Thinking Strategies.


Register here

Download a flyer here

Teacher PD Alumni:

Brooklyn Community Arts & Media High School
Brooklyn Heights Montessori
District 75
Dwight School
HS of Art and Design
HS of Fashion Industries
Liberation Diploma Plus High School
Millenium Brooklyn High School
MS 51
MS 88
MS 839
PS 140
P256 @ St. John’s Home
The New LIFE School
Vista Academy
Williamsburg High School of Arts + Technology