If you are like me, you probably can think of one or two teachers in your lifetime that have changed how you view yourself and the world, and thus, helped change your future. Those ‘magicians’ are the ones that challenge us; encourage us to dream and to achieve.

Lloyd Cotsen
Founder of the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING

Reflecting on his successes in his career and his life, Lloyd Cotsen concluded that his achievements were made possible, in part, by the teachers he had growing up – those “magicians” who challenged and inspired him. Mr. Cotsen then set out to see if he could return the favor by helping more teachers become the kind of teachers that make a difference in students’ lives.

Mr. Cotsen founded the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING in 2001 with the idea that a strong, collaborative partnership between a mentor and a teacher would promote artful teaching. Starting in 2001, the foundation conducted a two-year pilot with a cohort of 21 fellows and four mentors selected in three districts at four schools. Since 2001, participant numbers have increased nearly eight-fold. In 2011-2012, the ART of TEACHING will have been in 20 districts and 95 schools, and the 180 participants will join over 490 alumni as mentors and fellows seeking to perfect their craft.

The 2011-2012 academic year also marks the introduction of the ART of TEACHING to the San Jose region of Northern California. Since 2006, New Teacher Center has implemented the ART of TEACHING in Santa Cruz on behalf of the Cotsen Foundation for the Art of Teaching. The success of this partnership, and the enthusiastic reception of Mt. Pleasant Elementary School District, led to the addition of two schools in San Jose to the ART of TEACHING, which now operates in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties in California.