UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) -- Right now, the area is teeming with teachers, but only until Tuesday. New educators from around the state are in town for the Beginning Teacher Conference at the iHotel and Conference Center.
Organizers say it's all about offering support to new teachers. They say, right now, it's more important than ever. The entire country is facing a teaching shortage.
Organizers say one thing contributing to that is a lack of support. The conference is for new graduates and those with one year of teaching under their belts. They learn how to manage classrooms and practice self-care.
This year, there's a special focus on how to better engage communities. Those attending say they're passionate about teaching, but they're not surprised by the shortage.
Organizers say new grads who already have jobs are getting more offers every day. Even with those new grads, there is still a shortage.
Last month, the State Board of Education put out emergency rules to try to help. It lets certified teachers fill roles in different grades and subjects if they meet certain requirements.