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Illinois: Working in Education in Illinois

This list also contains online schools that accept students from Illinois

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Education Management

Salaries for principals and assistant principals in Illinois are regionally competitive and commensurate with professional preparation and experience. Positions may be for 10, 11, or 12 months. Salaries include an excellent benefit package, which includes medical, life and disability insurance, and professional growth funds. Other administrative positions in Illinois schools include, among others, dean of students, career and technical education system director, director of math and science instruction, director of response to intervention, and director of English language learners.

Anyone serving in an administrative role in Illinois public schools must hold an Administrative Certificate. Principals, assistant principals, assistant and associate supervisors, and staff in related positions must hold a General Administrative Endorsement. Requirements for this endorsement include a master's degree with coursework in educational administration and supervision, completion of an Illinois administrator preparation program, two years full-time teaching or school service experience, and a passing grade on a content area test if required. Applicants for administrative positions who hold comparable certificates from other states can receive provisional certificates.

The Alternative Route to Administrative Certification for National Board Certified Teachers gives qualified teachers an opportunity to earn a General Administrative Certificate, allowing them to work as a school principal in Illinois.

The principal of an Illinois middle school led operational and instructional changes that transformed the school into a place where students learn. In recognition of that achievement, the National Association of Secondary School Principals named Tefft Middle School a Breakthrough School of 2010. Only 10 schools nationwide received the award, which brings a $5,000 grant to the school.

Technology Education

The Illinois Virtual School provides online courses for students in grades 5-12 and professional education opportunities for educators. Learning Technology Centers help Illinois school districts integrate technology in the classroom and curriculum.

The Illinois Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) grants serve to make sure all students have both the access and ability to use emerging technologies inside the classroom. Districts must use 75 percent of the grant money on hardware, such as computers, digital cameras, and interactive whiteboards. Districts must use the rest for professional development.

Professional development webinars are offered on topics as varied as parent involvement, technology assistance, budgeting, and evaluation. The webinars increase access to professional development for Illinois educators.

The state requires technology testing for teachers.

Teacher's Aides in Illinois Schools

A number of Illinois community colleges offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree and/or Paraprofessional Certificate. The Northwestern Illinois Association offers a Paraprofessional Training Program that consists of in-service training workshops on specific relevant topics such as the role of the paraprofessional in providing instructional support, topics in special education for the paraprofessional, and paraeducation communication skills.

Curriculum and Instruction

The Illinois Learning Standards define what all students in all Illinois public schools should know and be able to do in the seven core areas as a result of their elementary and secondary schooling. The standards have not changed since their adoption in 1997.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for the nearly 4,500 instructional coordinators in Illinois in May 2008 was $55,690.

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