Returning in-person 2021 UIS Teacher Conference welcomes Chicago Public School students – News


The College of Education at Illinois State University hosted its third annual Prospective Teachers Conference (FTCON) in person. As per CDC and University health guidelines, more than 800 high school students and 100 education staff from over 30 Illinois school districts participated in various workshops throughout the day. According to FTCON The conference’s website, which has hosted high school students considering a career in education, is designed to educate students on the process of becoming a teacher and what to expect after graduation when they enter class.

Chicago Public School students wake up early to board the bus at 6 a.m. to attend the lecture on the ISU campus.

This year, more than 80 students from various programs at the Chicago Public School (CPS) Teacher Academy ( came to campus to attend the conference. Students were recruited through the National Center for Urban Education (NCUE) partner schools in three of the five communities to attend the conference ( The day began with an inspiring opening session, featuring Illinois State Alumnus Brandon Thorton and performances from various student organizations.

Then, students and educational staff were invited to attend two different morning sessions. During the 10:15 a.m. session, a few CPS students participated in “From CPS Student to ISU Redbird” where students discovered ISU’s long-standing partnership with CPS and the opportunities for scholarships, student education with CPS, and support for success. A new program, the Teach Chicago Tomorrow (TCT) initiative ( involves a partnership between CPS, Chicago City Colleges and the ISU College of Education. Through the TCT, CPS graduates have the opportunity to receive an ISU undergraduate degree in education and an Illinois teaching license in special education, bilingual elementary, or elementary with ESL with all coursework offered locally in Chicago. Upon successful completion of the program, students are guaranteed a job in the district that housed many of them as Kindergarten to Grade 12 students and a chance to become the next generation of teachers. urban.

Another session that students enjoyed was the student panel where attendees heard current ISU education students talk about their experiences on campus. It was an opportunity for high school students to ask questions and learn other ways to get involved as education majors.

A high school student said he enjoyed the session because it provided a glimpse into what current students actually experience when they become teachers. Becky Beucher, NCUE’s faculty liaison and curriculum developer, presented restorative practices, one of the centre’s main initiatives, in collaboration with community partners. High school students participated in an interactive session on the healing power of repairing classroom communities through shared learning and decision-making with the goal of cultivating empathy and connection through the cultural foundations of the practices restorative.

Dr Apryl Riley begins with an opening circle during the “From CPS Student to ISU Redbird” workshop.

One session that education staff enjoyed was Diversifying the Teacher Pool. Dr Maria Zamudio, Executive Director of the National Center for Urban Education, as well as Bloomington District 87 Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources Sherri Thomas discussed the important issue of increasing the diversity of future and current people in the field of education. While CPC staff knew this was a heavy topic to unpack, the information offered to spark discussion was very insightful.

During lunch, students were able to attend a table fair that included information from all education programs and several student organizations. The students enjoyed learning about all the different opportunities that ISU College of Education has to offer. After lunch, students and educational staff attended another workshop before returning to their respective cities.

“One of my students was reluctant to come at first, but now they were glad they did,” said Mr. Johnson, a social studies professor and post-secondary co-director at Westinghouse College Prep. “They are even more interested in becoming a teacher now. “

Many of the CPS students who participated agreed that it was worth getting up very early to travel to the state of Illinois.


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