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Illinois Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentor Program for New Teachers

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Overview of the Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentor Program

Your first year of teaching is hard.

Your first year of teaching amid a pandemic is even harder.

That’s why The Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois State Board of Education have joined together to create a program designed to help provide wraparound professional support for first- and second-year teachers and clinicians.

The Illinois Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentor Program for new teachers and clinicians pairs each new educator with a trained virtual coach and an in-building mentor, a virtual coaching & mentoring platform and the support of other first-year teachers and clinicians.

In 2020, the State of Illinois estimated there were about 4,000 new PreK-12 teachers and clinicians hired and many did not have the chance to complete their clinical training because of COVID-19. Now, they are 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. They also must be prepared for the possibility of intermittent transitions between being remote and in-person instruction, all while meeting students’ needs.

That is a lot of added stress. So, here’s what the comprehensive program, which encourages school districts to work with their local union leadership to enroll in together, provides:

  • Virtual instructional coach trained to provide support to beginning teachers and clinicians 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 & mentoring 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.

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

As we look to Fall 2021, districts in collaboration with their local unions are invited to join the IEA Virtual Instructional Coach and Building Mentoring program for new teachers and clinicians.

IEA Virtual Instructional Coach & Building Mentoring Program Info

IEA Virtual Instructional Coach

For more information, contact. IEA_CoachingAndMentoring@ieanea.org

CPS and other IFT affiliated district staff should contact IFT at IFTcoachingandmentoring@ift-aft.org

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