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Circles of Learning Hosts RPS 205 Academies Summer Boot Camp

Academies Summer Boot Camp at Circles of Learning

Circles of Learning hosted 12 Rockford Public Schools employees Aug. 16 as part of the Academies Summer Boot Camp.

Circles of Learning Executive Director Laura Hoffman and I hosted the teacher externship to connect high school classroom curriculum to the workforce. Teachers learned about career opportunities available in early childhood education at RPS 205 and daycare centers. We talked about the various early childhood certificates, degrees and careers available in our community for our students to consider.

We reviewed education requirements, plus staff issues in the education field. Teachers had a chance to look at the RPS 205 High Scope curriculum, Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards and the Early Learning Scale assessment system. We discussed the unique opportunities available to students who may want to work at a childcare center while working on obtaining their degree.

The teachers visited infant and toddler classrooms, preschool rooms, and summer programming/after-school rooms. During the visit they spoke with Circles of Learning staff about their typical day, what they enjoy most, and what skills they think our students need by the time they graduate high school. While there are obvious challenges, as there are in any industry, the rewards in childcare far outweigh them.

As one teacher noted, “It can be overwhelming, trying to ensure every child has a quality experience. But when you see those smiling faces, get a warm hug, or see a child engage in a book, it’s all worth it.” 

Headshot of Julie Chandler

Julie Chandler

Julie Chandler has worked as an Early Childhood Administrator at Rockford Public Schools since 2012. She has a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in educational leadership. Julie has served families since 1998. She previously worked as an administrator writing grants in alternative, and career and technical education programs. Julie has taught students at a variety of levels. She has fond memories teaching preschool, GED, alternative and adult education, incarcerated and truant students, and guiding first-generation college students. She has also taught family literacy. Her happiest moments are when all of her adult children come home to spend time together as a blended family.


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