top of page
UnionLBootCamp.jpg

UNION PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

IFT's professional development opportunities are designed to meet the needs of both new and experienced local leaders and activists in all IFT constituency groups. Our programs provide participants with hands-on learning and a chance to network with other IFT members from throughout the state. We have adapted our training to meet the changing needs of union leadership as we grapple  with racial injustice and other inequities.

 

IFT Administrators' Academy

Gathering Evidence During Observations and Conferencing Using the Danielson Model

AA1801/Retraining

COURSE: Nov. 16, 8a-4:30p

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Nov. 7, 2024

This one-day course, intended for administrators who need to re-qualify to evaluate teachers, focuses on increasing inter-rater reliability and controlling bias when collecting, aligning, and rating evidence and conducing post-observation conferences. Upon successful completion, the educator will have satisfied the requirement for retraining in the area of Professional Practice. This AA must be paired with AA3000 to fulfill the entire retraining requirements.

2025 DATES

Illinois Performance Evaluation – Initial Teacher Evaluation Training

AA2001/initial

COURSE: Jan. 15, 4p-6p | Jan. 25, 8a-4:30p | Jan. 26, 8a-4:30p

REGISTRATION OPENS: Dec. 9, 2024

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Jan. 7, 2025

This two-day course, intended for educators who have never been trained to evaluate licensed staff, will cover all aspects of evaluation, including teacher professional practice and student growth data. Upon successful completion, the educator will be certified to evaluate licensed staff.

Using Student Growth Data in Professional Evaluations
For retraining of teacher AND principal evaluators in the area of Student Growth

AA3000/Retraining

COURSE: Feb. 22, 8a-4:30p

REGISTRATION OPENS: Feb. 13, 2025

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Feb. 13, 2025

This one-day academy, intended for administrators who need to re-qualify to evaluate all licensed staff, focuses on the use of assessments and measurement models in determining student growth attributable to individual educators. Upon successful completion, the educator will have satisfied the requirement for retraining in the area of Student Growth.  This AA must be paired with one of the AAs focused on Professional Practice for the population you evaluate to fulfill the entire retraining requirements. 

Gathering Evidence During Observations and Conferencing Using the Danielson Model

AA1801/Retraining

COURSE: Nov. 15, 8a-4:30p

REGISTRATION OPENS: Oct. 6, 2025

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Nov. 6, 2025

This one-day course, intended for administrators who need to re-qualify to evaluate teachers, focuses on increasing inter-rater reliability and controlling bias when collecting, aligning, and rating evidence and conducing post-observation conferences. Upon successful completion, the educator will have satisfied the requirement for retraining in the area of Professional Practice. This AA must be paired with AA3000 to fulfill the entire retraining requirements.

2026 DATES

Illinois Performance Evaluation – Initial Teacher Evaluation Training

AA2001/Initial

COURSE: Jan. 14, 4p-6p | Jan. 24, 8a-4:30p | Jan. 25, 8a-4:30p

REGISTRATION OPENS: Dec. 6, 2025

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Jan. 6, 2026

This two-day course, intended for educators who have never been trained to evaluate licensed staff, will cover all aspects of evaluation, including teacher professional practice and student growth data. Upon successful completion, the educator will be certified to evaluate licensed staff.

Using Student Growth Data in Professional Evaluations
For retraining of teacher AND principal evaluators in the area of Student Growth

AA3000/Retraining

COURSE: Feb. 21, 8a-4:30p

REGISTRATION OPENS: Jan. 12, 2026

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Feb. 12, 2026

This one-day academy, intended for administrators who need to re-qualify to evaluate all licensed staff, focuses on the use of assessments and measurement models in determining student growth attributable to individual educators. Upon successful completion, the educator will have satisfied the requirement for retraining in the area of Student Growth.  This AA must be paired with one of the AAs focused on Professional Practice for the population you evaluate to fulfil the entire retraining requirements.

OTHER COURSES

AFT LEAD PROGRAM

Leadership Education and Development

The IFT, in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Cornell University, offers the LEAD program to help local union and council teams establish strong relationships with their members and the community. Throughout the year-long program, LEAD teams hold several collaborative meetings to assess their challenges, determine how to strategically overcome them, and develop an effective action plan.

PROFESSIONAL ISSUES

TRAINING AND SUPPORT

IFT members are experts in their fields and uniquely qualified to train their colleagues. After completing an IFT Train-the-Trainer course, members are armed with the skills and materials they need to conduct professional development programs in their locals.

Programs include:  

  • Initial Teachers Evaluation Training

  • Evaluation Empowerment

  • Building Responsive and Trauma-Informed Schools, and more.

WORKSITE LEADER (WSL) TRAINING

The WSL program is designed to help union activists be effective worksite leaders in their building or workplace. WSLs play a critical role in growing and strengthening their locals and the IFT.

 

To become a WSL graduate participants must complete five courses, including:

  • Union 101

  • Communications and Information

  • Worksite Advocacy

  • Mobilization and Engagement

  • Political, Legislative, and Community Engagement

CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE TEACHING, LEARNING & ASSESSMENT

The importance and power of culturally responsive practices, curriculum, and assessment to ensure students are engaged in authentic learning has never been more relevant. Join this workshop to learn more about implementing the use of curricula and assessments that are both restorative and academically rigorous. Culturally relevant curricula is a key component of trauma-informed pedagogy—but requires specific components, continual self-analysis, and mindset shifts for educators. Educators are encouraged to bring a unit- or lesson-plan to this workshop.

Custom Training
Cahokia1272.2014TEAM.jpg
CUSTOM TRAINING

Additional trainings and assistance are available based on local need and demand. Examples of custom programs include: campaign and candidate training, social media, current legislative issues, and the teacher evaluation process.

questions? Contact Benita Twillie at btwillie@ift-aft.org or 630/468-4080.

Being a union member is the most effective way to advocate for yourself, your profession, and those you serve.

Now more than ever, it's important that your elected officials hear from you. Office visits and phone calls are the most effective way to have your voice heard.

Empower yourself. Check your voter registration status, register, find IFT-endorsed candidates, and other useful voter tools and resources.

Explore our centralized hub of current issue campaigns and find grassroots volunteer opportunities to take action on your own time.

bottom of page