Webinar: Homeroom with Education Leaders | Entrepreneurship and Education

System change requires a full shift in the way we think about education. How do we connect people with meaningful resources, work, and information? How do we rethink our entire system to build one that is equitable and innovative? How can we do this in the long-term, while still ensuring that today’s students are being equipped with the tools they need to be successful? This panel will discuss how to rethink the existing education systems while serving students equitably and fully.

March 9, 2021, 11 a.m., Eastern Time (U.S. and Canada)

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Webinar: Innovations in Teaching During the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the education sector. But it has also led some schools and school districts to embrace innovative staffing and scheduling strategies that could be valuable post-pandemic. Join FutureEd, Education Resource Strategies, and EducationCounsel at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 9, for a virtual conversation with educators about how these innovations are playing to teachers’ strengths, providing them with more instructional support, and better serving students.

The conversation will be moderated by FutureEd Senior Fellow Lynn Olson, drawing on her recent report, Teaching Innovation. Panelists include:

  • David Rosenberg, Partner, Education Resource Strategies
  • Victoria Jackson-Dinkins, senior coordinator of Opportunity Culture programs, Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Felecia Evans, principal, Lander Elementary School, Mayfield Heights, Ohio
  • Nilesh Patel, science teacher, Kairos Academy, St. Louis, Missouri

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Webinar: Race & Education | The Invisible Tax: Educators of Color and the Water They Carry

Educators of color, like all educators, face common challenges associated with the profession: depressed salaries, hours outside of the traditional workday, and inadequate supplies. However, for BIPOC educators, there is an added layer, an invisible tax that pushes them to navigate the racial trauma of colleagues, students, and direct reports all while doing the same for themselves. In this panel, hear from a range of lifelong educators with a variety of vantage points—from the classroom to the superintendent’s cabinet—as they speak on the obstacles faced by Black and brown educators while trying to navigate their careers.

March 16, 2021, 2 p.m. Eastern Time (U.S. and Canada)

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Chat2Learn: ISBE Launches a New Parent Text Program for Preschool Families

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is partnering with the University of Chicago Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab to bring a new parent text program called Chat2Learn to preschool families at no cost. Chat2Learn is based on research and promotes a habit of everyday learning that improves children’s school readiness. The program delivers text messages to parents to prompt guided conversations about math, literacy, and social-emotional learning with their children at home. 

The Chat2Learn program starts every Sunday, so sign up today! The program has ongoing open enrollment, so families can continue to enroll throughout the first half of 2021. The program messages start the Sunday after families enroll and go through the end of June 2021. However, it is encouraged to sign up early in order to take advantage of the whole program! If there are any questions about Chat2Learn, contact Shannon Gedo at the BIP Lab at sgedo@uchicago.edu.  

Illinois Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentor Program

The State of Illinois estimates that at least 4,000 new K-12 teachers will be hired to fill vacancies for the 2020-21 school year. Many of these teachers did not have the chance to complete their clinical training because of COVID-19. However, teacher candidates who were eligible for this exemption already underwent extensive course work, pre-clinical fieldwork experiences, and a licensure content test.

These new teachers and others who are new to the profession will be expected to help students recover from learning loss and the social-emotional toll of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while mastering digital teaching and learning technologies. Illinois’ students experienced at least one-quarter of remote learning last school year; and as of September 14, 2020, nearly two-thirds of Illinois’ students are beginning the new school year remotely. Teachers also must be prepared for intermittent transitions between remote and in-person instruction as the school year progresses. In both settings, teachers will be expected to provide much needed social-emotional support and manage challenging circumstances for their students. New teachers need more support than ever before.

IEA and IFT Offer Comprehensive Professional Support
To support beginning teachers in these challenging circumstances, the Illinois State Board of Education engaged the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers to design a comprehensive program that will offer every participating district’s new teachers wraparound professional support including:
• Virtual instructional coach trained to provide support to beginning teachers regarding effective practices for online instruction, social-emotional learning, and trauma-informed practices;
• Trained and certified building mentor with the sole responsibility to make the teacher feel welcomed, supported, and connected in their new school;
• Access to robust virtual coaching platform with a comprehensive online library of instructional resources, including effective-practice videos, and software tools that help teachers analyze examples of each other’s teaching and provide feedback and support to one another; and
• Support and feedback through one-on-one and small group virtual coaching sessions organized around Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching Clusters.

ISBE partnered with IEA and IFT through a $6.5 million grant, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

For more information, email:
Illinois Education Association contact: IEA_coachingandmentoring@ieanea.org
Illinois Federation of Teachers contact: IFTcoachingandmentoring@ift-aft.org