CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — An annual conference for beginning teachers is expanding this year to include a boot camp for brand-new alumni of the University of Illinois’ teacher training programs.
The Illinois New Teacher Collaborative’s Beginning Teacher Boot Camp will offer curricula specifically for 2016 graduates of the university’s teacher preparation programs who will begin their first teaching jobs this fall. The boot camp, to be June 30-July 1, will include some joint sessions with INTC’s Beginning Teacher Conference, which runs June 29-30.
The annual Beginning Teacher Conference is geared toward pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade educators who have just completed their first year of full-time teaching. This is the seventh year for the conference, which is open to teachers statewide, regardless of where they earned their degrees.
Small group sessions at the conference and boot camp will explore topics such as managing the classroom, promoting student engagement and teaching diverse groups.
The college and INTC had been pondering for some time how they could provide added support for new graduates embarking upon their first teaching assignments and decided to add the boot camp to this year’s conference to help alumni navigate the challenging early days and weeks of their careers, said Chris Roegge, INTC co-director.
“The sessions for the boot campers have been specifically planned for them, keeping in mind what a brand-new teacher faces during the first few weeks on the job,” Roegge said. “The curricula will keep it on a practical, nuts-and-bolts level, focusing on specific strategies and tips for starting the school year. We also wanted for the boot campers to have opportunities to network with colleagues who have just finished their first year in the classroom and gain a little knowledge and encouragement from them.”
Keynote speakers will be Jill Grove, principal of the Early Learning Center, a unit within Springfield Public Schools in Springfield, Illinois; and Gregory Michie, an author and teacher at William H. Seward Communication Arts Academy, an elementary school located in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Grove, who will speak on June 30, is a past recipient of the Springfield School District’s Educator of the Year Award and was a finalist for the Administrator of the Year Award in 2014.
Michie, who will speak on July 1, developed an award-winning video production course for middle school students, has published numerous essays and articles, and blogs on education issues at The Huffington Post. He is a past recipient of the Golden Apple Award for Teaching, given annually to 10 outstanding teachers in the Chicago area.
More than 150 early-service teachers are expected to attend the boot camp and conference, both of which will be held at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., Champaign.
INTC is a statewide partnership of individuals and groups interested in attracting and retaining new teachers and enhancing their abilities to promote student learning. INTC receives support from the college and the State Farm Companies Foundation, with the Meemic Foundation providing additional funds for the conference and boot camp.