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Keeping and developing new teachers focus of conference

Craig Chamberlain, Education Editor
(217) 333-2894;



Educators from around the state will gather in Champaign early next week to trade ideas and experience on how to keep and develop new teachers.

The conference, titled "Successful Transitions: Helping Illinois Teachers Move from Novice to Expert," will be held Monday and Tuesday (April 23-24) at the Holiday Inn, 1001 Killarney, Urbana.

Participants will have a chance to learn about programs that support new teachers, and that take them from their initial certificate to the standard certificate now required after four years of teaching.

Among the programs to be discussed will be different types of mentoring, programs for second- and third-year teachers, and partnerships involving school districts, state and regional offices of education, teachers unions, and universities.

One example of such a partnership is the Partnership for Professional Development, which is co-sponsoring the conference along with the Illinois State Board of Education. The partnership includes the University of Illinois; three of the state's regional offices of education, covering Champaign, Ford, Macon, Piatt and Vermilion counties; the Illinois Education Association; the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and numerous school districts within the five-county area.

One of the partnership’s efforts is the Notice Teacher Support Project, and one of the programs showcased at the conference will be NTSP's electronic mentoring program.