The College of Education (COE) has multiple professional development opportunities for teachers and current education students this fall. Presentations will be hosted by COE faculty, alumni, and teacher colleagues. Each session is free, virtual, and has professional development credit available.

Redbird Educator Series
The Mary and Jean Borg Center for Reading and Literacy is hosting a new professional development series featuring COE faculty titled Redbird Educator Series for current practicing teachers. There are three webinars planned for this fall and many more coming for spring.

Dr. Becky Beucher, assistant professor in the School of Teaching and Learning will present on building anti-racist educators through embodied contemplative practices on Wednesday, September 23 at 4pm. Dr. Beucher’s webinar is designed for those who desire to do the hard work of sitting with discomfort around conversations about race and who are interested in learning how to bear witness to others’ stores from a compassionate place.

Dr. Tara Kaczorowski, assistant professor in the Department of Special Education will focus on inclusive, research-supported methods to teach mathematics to elementary students of all abilities and how to facilitate this in e-learning environments. Kaczorowski’s presentation will be on Thursday, October 8 at 4pm.

Dr. Courtney Hattan, assistant professor in the School of Teaching and Learning will address how knowledge plays an inarguably critical role in reading comprehension and how K-12 teachers can rethink the role of knowledge in the literacy classroom. Hattan will present on Tuesday, October 27 at 4pm.

“Teachers are passionate learners. It’s important that, as educators plan and provide meaningful instruction for their students in virtual and distanced settings, they also take time to rejuvenate through professional learning,” said Dr. Deborah MacPhee, director of the Borg Center. “The Redbird Educator Series is designed to engage educators in professional learning on a range of relevant topics in education. We hope these webinars are a convenient way for teachers to feed their passion for learning!”

T21 Con
Teaching in the 21st Century Conference (T21Con) is an educational technology conference for current practicing teachers and education students and will be held virtually on Friday, October 2nd from 11am-4pm.

Dr. Bryan Zwemke, an Illinois high school principal, will be this year’s keynote. Bryan completed his qualitative research on building a school system’s social capital through social media. Through his work in this area, Zwemke continues to partner with districts to show schools the power of sharing their stories through a strategic framework and empowering staff and students to share their voices.

T21Con will also feature several presentations by P–12 educators from across the Midwest, including many Illinois State University alumni, who are leading their schools and districts in the use of classroom technologies. Session presentations range across a variety of topics, such as Google classrooms, using technology to foster social learning, online learning and teaching, using theatre education in all classrooms, empowering students through writing and more!

The event is funded by Robert and Mary F. English, two retired educators and Illinois State alumni.

“This is the premier College of Education in the Midwest and I’m thrilled to see our faculty, staff and teacher colleagues bring these exciting free professional development opportunities to our teacher networks”, said Dr. James Wolfinger, Dean of the College of Education. “These are such challenging times, and Illinois State is committed to supporting educators as we all adapt and continue to strive for excellence in teaching.”