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The Update from Education at Illinois

The Update is a student newsletter that provides news,
career opportunities, and events to undergraduate
majors and minors in the College of Education at Illinois.

Student Spotlight

We asked you Education majors and minors to tell us about your summer plans. Here's what you said:


Kevin McDermott: Just like last summer I am working for the Illinois Migrant Education Program through Parkland College. We travel to surrounding towns in central Illinois and work with children of migrant workers who are only in Illinois for about eight weeks in the summer. We teach wherever the families are living, so oftentimes we teach in a motel parking lot or a hotel.


Tina Jordahl:
This summer I will be a TA for the Illinois Math Camp held on campus for local high school students.


Megan Simpson: This summer I will be moving out to Colorado to live in Estes Park to work as an inclusion counselor at YMCA of the Rockies. I applied for this position in December, and after months of waiting heard that I got the job. There are young adults from all over the country working there and only two inclusion counselors were hired. The Special Education program at Illinois, which allowed me to work extensively with kids with disabilities, really helped me stand out in the application process. This summer I get to create accommodations for students with disabilities so that they can participate in camp activities with their typically developing peers. I cannot wait for this opportunity to be doing what I love in a place I love!


Sarah Kitz: I'm currently teaching in Italy, and it's an experience that I won't forget. Post-graduation has its fair share of work for me over the summer. I am taking one last study abroad tour to teach in Argentina. After that, I will begin preparing my fourth- or sixth-grade ESL classroom for the upcoming school year. Has four years really gone by this fast?


Julia Wolf:
I will be spending my summer at my second Golden Apple Summer Institute at St. Xavier University and working as a lifeguard.


Lindsay Duffy: While I wish I could be studying abroad in Australia with the College of Education again, this summer I'll be working on finishing my ESL and middle school endorsements by taking summer classes. When I'm not taking classes, I'll be a summer camp counselor for my local park district. In addition, I'll be reading books that my third-grade students recommended to me for some good summer camp reading!


Fiona McKeon: This summer I will be headed to Chicago to work for the Chicago Park District. It will be my fifth year working with CPD as a day camp counselor. This job provides me with great experiences working with children in elementary school, and it's a great way to stay active and get some sun!


Jessica Thompson: This summer I'll be working at Forever 21 and taking summer courses. Also, I'll be taking the content test for student teaching. I'll try to squeeze some rest in there as well. By the end of summer break I should be ready to finish my last year as an undergrad.


Illyana Lopez: This summer I'm excited to start getting my future classroom ready for the school year! I'll be teaching eighth-grade math at Jefferson Middle School in Champaign and look forward to making my classroom a fun learning environment for my students. I was hired before I left for student teaching/study abroad in Italy, which relieved a lot of stress.


Betsy Oroni: This summer I will be going back home and working at a camp for kids with disabilities. I have worked at this camp for many years and am so excited to go back! After a year of having very different practicum placements through the special education program, I'm very excited to apply everything I've learned into what we do at camp. I can't wait to relax all summer, go to Disney World, and hang out with all my siblings!


Sarah Bielec: This summer I will be taking beginner Japanese on campus. For the past three years I have taken Korean and had an amazing time learning the language. I look forward to returning to Japan in the future and being able to get around much easier. I will also be meeting my fall semester placement class during July; that is when they start their school year.


Heather Jarvis: This summer I am planning on going back home to St. Louis for a few weeks to spend time with friends and family. I will be going to Carbondale first because my grandpa is receiving an honorary doctorate at Southern Illinois University. After that, my mom and I are participating in a 5K race that has inflatables throughout the Forest Park course. My friends and I are also planning a vacation together in New Buffalo, Michigan, for a week. In June I will be going to St. Xavier University for the Golden Apple Summer Institution for four weeks. I will be taking classes and working in the Chicago Public School classrooms.


Riannon Szofer: I'll be attending a camp for young adults with Down syndrome called Camp PALS, which is a week-long camp of activities in which I'm involved with peers and exploring an area. I will be be traveling to San Francisco this summer to attend camp. There are eight different locations nationwide, and the program is expanding. I'm excited to continue to volunteer with this organization and build friendships with those in the PALS community.


Madelyn Biron: This summer I plan on spending a lot of time with my family, friends, and working. My family plans to go on a few vacations. I also work at a retirement home with Alzheimer and dementia patients; I cannot wait to be back. Lastly, I will be attending summer school to further my education in Spanish. Yo estoy muy emocionado!


Sara Folliard: From May until August I will be living and working at Yellowstone National Park. I'll be on the kitchen crew at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and staying in a dorm with all the other employees. I can't wait to spend my free time hiking, looking for wildlife, and meeting people from around the world. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can't wait!


Diana Balderas: I'm going to be studying Spanish in Costa Rica for six weeks this summer, focusing on community and hands-on projects. I hope this helps prepare me for my future bilingual classroom.


Caitlin Nagle: This summer I am returning as a special education summer school teaching assistant with high school kids in a career and life-skills program. Last summer I worked with preschool kids in an early intervention program, so I am excited for a different setting and new experiences. During evenings, I will be working as a caretaker for a boy with autism. I look forward to keeping busy and soaking up the sun!


Laura Dietrich: I will be working as a camp counselor for a park district summer camp. This will be my fourth summer doing this. I will also begin looking at curriculum guides and collecting materials for my fourth-grade classroom next fall.


Lisa McGovern:
I'm staying on campus to work as an office assistant at Housing, where I'll be helping with conferences and special events.


Angelica Michelis: I will potentially be taking a road trip to the East Coast with one of my friends from the U of I. I will be spending all of July in Greece visiting my extended family. I plan to visit my goddaughter in Spetses. My mom and I plan on taking a road trip to Sterea Ellada and visit multiple cities we have never seen. When traveling back to the U.S., I will stop in Copenhagen for two days, where I will be able to explore on a bicycle. It should be a very adventurous summer!


2016 Beginning Teacher Boot Camp
June 30 - July 1
I Hotel and Conference Center
Get a head start on your first year of teaching with real-world plans for building relationships with students, establishing and maintaining behavioral expectations, and implementing classroom procedures and routines.

Career and Professional Development

Teaching Assistants Needed for Chinese Culture and Language Camp
Application Deadline: May 12
The College of Education is looking for energetic and motivated teaching assistants who enjoy working with children for the Aug. 8-12 Chinese Culture and Language Camp. The ideal candidate must have a degree (or be in the process of obtaining one) in elementary education or a related field. Along with experience and enthusiasm, we are seeking individuals with imagination and a sense of fun, people who truly enjoy working with elementary- and school-age children. Additionally, candidates must have excellent communication skills and be able to lead and engage children in instruction, projects, and outdoor activities. Candidates must be professionally trained in the College's curriculum and be able to work closely with lead teachers to facilitate programs. Learn more about the camp and contact Wei Liu at for inquiries.

Teaching Positions Available at Galva Junior/Senior High School
Galva Junior/Senior High School (approximately one hour north of Peoria) is seeking a high school Spanish teacher and a science teacher for grades seven through 12. For more information, contact Principal Jerry J. Becker at or 309-932-2151.

Heartland Teacher Recruitment Fair (Florida)
Saturday, May 21
7:30 a.m.
- 3 p.m.
Heartland Education Consortium (1096 U.S. Highway 27 N; Lake Placid, Fla.)
Want to teach in Florida? During this inaugural recruitment fair, representatives from the six Heartland districts (DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, and Okeechobee) will be present to interview candidates. The recruiters are especially seeking candidates with certifications in elementary education (K-6), English (6-12), exceptional student education (K-12), math (5-9 and 6-12), reading (K-12), guidance and counseling (K-12), Spanish (K-12), and all science. Contact Dr. Gina Stafford at or 863-531-0444, extension 202, for more information.

Child Tutoring/Mentoring Opportunity in C-U for Summer
This is a great resume-building opportunity for a fun-loving and dedicated individual who can tutor and "coach" students who require extra help with math and reading. The time commitment will vary but generally be two or three days per week. Experience with children, creativity, patience, and exceptional organizational and time management skills are a must. Contact Sara Cassel at to learn more about this opportunity, which will pay $10-15 per hour.

Babysitting Opportunities in C-U
Experienced babysitters looking to earn extra money in Champaign-Urbana can join the "CU Childcare Connection" group on Facebook. This group will help you get connected with families who need babysitters in the area. Contact Erin Tarr at for inquiries.

Seeking Female Mentor in C-U for Summer
This is a great resume-building opportunity for a fun-loving and dedicated individual who can mentor a 17-year-old person who requires assistance with social skills. Experience with children, creativity, patience, and exceptional organizational and time management skills are a must. Contact Sara Cassel at to learn more about this six-week, non-paying position.

Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation Summer Job Opportunities
Training begins May 16; camp runs May 31-Aug. 5
Join Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation for a fun-filled summer interacting with individuals with disabilities in a structured recreational setting. Apply at Questions? Contact Jessica DeYoung at 217-239-1152 or

Happenings and Deadlines

Special Education Summer Courses Available
Registration Now Open for:

Apply for a Grant for Back-to-School Supplies
Application Deadline: June 30
The Meemic Foundation and have partnered to offer 1,500 grants of up to $100 each to be awarded for school supplies. Applying is simple and recipients will be notified by Aug. 1.

Study Abroad Planning for Spring 2017 Semester
Looking into studying abroad during the Spring 2017 semester? Illinois International Programs held numerous events in April for students who want to study overseas. Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Spain, Latin America, the U.K., and Ireland will be the study abroad options for students during this semester. Contact Claire Bryan at or 217-333-6322 for more information.

Want to Teach in Singapore for Five Weeks this Summer?
We have an amazing opportunity for you! Education at Illinois is collaborating with the National Institute of Education in Singapore, the only institute to certify teachers in Singapore schools. You will teach with the assistance of local teachers in selected schools from July to August in 2016.


To submit information or a story, or to make inquiries or provide feedback, please email
the Student Academic Affairs Office at