IEA Representative Assembly
The State of Illinois estimates that at least 4,000 new K-12 teachers were 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 coursework, 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 began 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, new 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.
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: • an assigned Virtual instructional coach trained to provide support to beginning teachers regarding effective practices for online instruction, social-emotional learning, and trauma-informed practices; • Trained in-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 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.
Click here for a detailed overview of the Virtual Instructional Coach & Building Mentor program.